Cardiovascular Emergencies

  • John W. Bachman


Sudden cardiac death (SCD), as used here, refers to the unexpected natural cardiac arrest that occurs in an adult either instantly or up to 1 hour after the onset of symptoms. Although the term “death” is used, victims of SCD may survive if medical care is instituted promptly. In the United States, SCD represents 30% of all nontraumatic and 50% of all coronary artery-related deaths. Since 1971 the number of persons having SCD has declined from 600,000 to 400,000, with one-third of the deaths occurring in the under 65-year-old group.1 This decrease can be attributed to (1) use of preventive measures, (2) treatment and reduction of coronary risk factors, and (3) development of treatments for persons experiencing sudden death or cardiac disease. Coronary artery disease is present in 80% of victims of SCD. The remaining victims have aortic rupture, cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease, and electrical instability disorders (e.g., Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome).


Cardiac Arrest Sudden Cardiac Death Cardiogenic Shock Emergency Medical Service Acute Pulmonary Edema 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Bachman

There are no affiliations available

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