Cardiac Arrest - FAQ

Frequently asked questions

A: A cardiac arrest, which is caused when your heart has an electrical malfunction, may happen in the bathroom because of the stress that using the toilet or showering can put on your body.

For instance, when you are having a bowel movement, you may be straining or exerting yourself which can put stress on your heart. If you have underlying heart conditions, this could trigger cardiac arrest.

Using the toilet also puts pressure on your vagus nerve, which can slow down your heart rate.

In addition, showering in water that is too cold or too hot can affect your heart rate. As your body tries to quickly adapt its temperature in the shower, it may put stress on your circulation and trigger a cardiac arrest.

A: A person can survive a sudden cardiac arrest if they get help quickly. However, only about 5% of those who have a cardiac arrest outside a hospital survive.

Depending on the cause of the cardiac arrest, there may be treatments possible, such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), that lower the risk of another cardiac arrest.

A: Unfortunately, people who suffer cardiac arrests must be resuscitated or administered electric shocks via an AED by another person within 4 minutes. Beyond this, there will likely to be permanent brain damage or death. The chances of effective resuscitation also rapidly decreases the longer the delay.

A: You face a higher risk of suffering cardiac arrest if you have a family history of heart disease or sudden cardiac arrest, especially at a young age.

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