The most common electrophysiologic mechanisms leading to SCD are tachyarrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). Interruption of tachyarrhythmias, using either an automatic external defibrillator (AED) or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), has been shown to be an effective treatment for VF and VT. The implantable defibrillator has become the central therapeutic factor in the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death. Patients with tachyarrhythmias, especially VT, carry the best overall prognosis among patients with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
The population-attributable fraction [95% confidence interval (CI)] was 23.0% (2.9-39.0) for hypertension, 15.3% (3.8-25.5) for current smoking, 14.5% (8.0-20.5) for major ST-T abnormalities, and 8.1% (2.2-13.7) for diabetes mellitus. The number of SCD risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and ECG abnormalities) was positively associated with increased SCD risk. The odds ratio for increased SCD risk with three or more risk factors versus zero risk factors was 5.76 (95% CI 3.20-10.39).
CPR: Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critical to treating sudden cardiac arrest. By maintaining a flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body's vital organs, CPR can provide a vital link until more advanced emergency care is available. Ongoing Research is being done at cardiac centres.