Memphis, Tennessee — A veterinarian in Kentucky says the most common symptoms of cardiac arrest are chest pain and dizziness.
Dr. John C. Broussard of the Memphis Veterinary Medical Center said the most frequent symptoms are:Tremors or twitches in the chest, sometimes with a sudden onset of lightheadedness or headachePain or redness in the legs or feetPain in the upper chest or in the abdomenChest pain, sometimes accompanied by chest tightness and heavinessPain in one or both arms, back, legs or neck, sometimes causing difficulty breathingHospitalization or an intensive care unit, but no deathDr.
Broughton said a heart condition can be deadly if not treated quickly.
“There are some conditions that are very hard to treat,” he said.
“A heart condition like a heart murmur or a heart valve defect can be very deadly, especially in older people.”
Broussart said he had not yet seen any patients who developed symptoms of sudden cardiac death.
“I have seen no cases of sudden death,” he told ABC News.
“If there is a sudden death that involves a heart disease, it is more likely to be caused by heart disease than it is from something else.”
He said it is important to get an initial assessment from a vet as soon as possible.
Brousard said the main thing to look for is chest pain.
“If you have a cough, or if you have heart palpitations, it might be a sign that you have an underlying heart condition,” he explained.
“But if you don’t have chest pain, then it might just be the signs of something else that is going on.”
Dr. David C. Silliman, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Memphis, told ABCNEWS he has seen heart patients who died suddenly after being put into cardiac arrest.
Silliman said he first noticed chest pain after treating patients in the hospital’s cardiac intensive care units.
“The first thing I noticed was the chest pain,” Sillis said.
Sick patients who do not have chest pains usually recover, but patients who have chest problems will likely have more problems later on.
“When you go to a hospital and you have no chest pain but you have severe symptoms of chest pain with a fever and a shortness of breath, and they are not in cardiac arrest, that is not the sign of a cardiac arrest,” Slliman said.
“This is the first time I have seen patients who are dead and they have severe chest pain in the ER.
You need to be very careful because you are going to have to go through an evaluation for them.”
Dr Broughson said he has not seen patients die after being placed into cardiac arrests.
“It is important that you do a cardiac ultrasound, and a CT scan if you are doing cardiac surgery or if they are in the ICU,” he advised.
“And it is very important that they get a pulse and blood pressure check and they get fluids and they stay hydrated.
If they have symptoms, and you are not going to survive for 24 hours, do a cardiopulmonary bypass or even a catheterization and make sure they have all their medications in their system and they know what to do to avoid further problems.”