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Cardiac Arrest

Definition - What does Cardiac Arrest mean?

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood throughout the body. A cardiac arrest could be the result of many factors including arrhythmias or abnormal or irregular heart rhythms. Cardiac arrest can result in permanent damage to the heart and circulatory system, as well as death.

Safeopedia explains Cardiac Arrest

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 13 percent of workplace fatalities reported in 1999 and 2000 were due to sudden cardiac arrest. Some of the factors at work that may aggravate or contribute to cardiovascular disease include exposure to chemicals (including carbon monoxide, carbon disulfide, and halogenated hydrocarbons), smoking, extreme heat or cold, stress, and shift work. Electrical hazards may also produce cardiac arrest, otherwise known as ventricular fibrillation, if an electrical shock passes through an employee.

Employees should also monitor their exposure to noise, lead, or arsenic as these types of exposures may result in high blood pressure which increases the risk for heart disease. OSHA suggests that employers consider the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at their work sites to reduce the time to defibrillation with the goal of improving survival rates when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs.

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