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Signs and Symptoms

Sudden cardiac arrest tends to happen without warning. Usually, the first sign is someone fainting, collapsing or seeming to be lifeless. You may not be able to feel a pulse. It’s critical to call 911 right away.

Recent studies of SCA survivors find that, in some cases, people remember that something didn’t feel quite right beforehand. They recalled:

  • Dizziness
  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Seizures (usually in the arms and legs)
  • Feeling sick to the stomach or vomiting an hour before the event

Other studies have shown that half of patients ages 35 to 65 had warning signs — mainly chest pain and shortness of breath in the 24 hours before the SCA. Some had warning signs for weeks.

  • Last Edited 05/21/2024