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It may be thrilling when love makes your heart skip a beat, but under any other circumstance that may not be a good thing.

he American Heart Association urges the public to be prepared for cardiac emergencies:

  • Know the warning signs of cardiac arrest. During cardiac arrest a victim loses consciousness, stops normal breathing and loses pulse and blood pressure. They may suddenly collapse.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately to access the emergency medical system if you see any cardiac arrest warning signs.
  • Give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help keep the cardiac arrest victim alive until emergency help arrives.
  • If you don’t know CPR or haven’t been trained, call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast on the center of the chest until help arrives

Cardiac arrest is the sudden, abrupt loss of heart function. It’s not the same as a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.

Sudden death (also called sudden cardiac death) occurs within minutes after symptoms appear.

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