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Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome

Sudden cardiac death syndrome, also called cardiac arrest, can be triggered by a sudden heart arrhythmia that causes the heart to beat erratically and then completely stop. Although the terms are commonly confused, cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Heart attacks are caused by a partial or complete blockage of a coronary artery, which obstructs blood flow to the heart, killing part of the heart muscle.

While death can occur within minutes of cardiac arrest, patients can sometimes be saved with immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The ideal treatment, however, is prevention. Cardiac arrest is often caused by factors such as coronary heart disease and prior heart attacks. Treatments to prevent cardiac arrest, as well as subsequent episodes, include:

  • Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) can automatically resuscitate the patient immediately after cardiac arrest.
  • Catheter ablation disables specific areas of the heart from which the arrhythmia originates.
  • Medications, such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers, can control heart arrhythmias and treat associated conditions.

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For more information, request a consultation or call the office of Pacific Rim Electrophysiology at (310) 672-9999. Recognized as international leaders in arrhythmia treatment and research, we serve patients from the surrounding Los Angeles area, as well as across the country and around the world.

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An innovator of advanced cardiac arrhythmia treatments that have attracted the attention of specialists and patients worldwide.

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High-risk patients should consult with their physician to evaluate the cause and severity of their heart disease and determine the most appropriate treatment.

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