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Sudden Death Prevention Specialist

Heart Rhythm Associates, LLC

Van H. De Bruyn, MD, FACC, FHRS

General Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology located in Little Rock, AR

As the leading cause of death in the United States, sudden cardiac arrest claims approximately 325,000 lives each year. At Heart Rhythm Associates LLC, Van H. De Bruyn, MD, brings more than 20 years of advanced cardiology training to Central Arkansas and offers sudden-death prevention screenings to men and women in Little Rock and the surrounding areas. If you’re at risk of serious heart conditions like cardiac arrest, call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule a sudden-death prevention screening online today.

Sudden Death Prevention Q & A

What is sudden cardiac arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when your heart unexpectedly stops functioning. This condition is often due to an electrical malfunction that affects your heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of your body.

Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which you might experience when blood flow can’t reach your heart due to blockages. But heart attacks can lead to electrical problems that cause cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is also different from heart failure, a chronic condition affecting the heart muscle, not the electrical system.

When your heart stops functioning, it’s a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. Common symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest include no breathing or pulse, loss of consciousness, and sudden collapse.

What causes sudden cardiac arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest is often due to arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm. Common conditions that can lead to dangerous arrhythmia issues include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Problems with your heart’s electrical system

Your risk of suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest increase if you have a family history of coronary artery disease; have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes; and are overweight, obese, or have a sedentary lifestyle.

What is sudden death prevention?

Dr. De Bruyn offers sudden-death prevention screenings for men and women at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. These appointments include:

  • A comprehensive physical examination
  • Blood tests to measure magnesium, potassium, cholesterol, and other substances that affect your heart function
  • Digital imaging tests like chest X-rays and echocardiograms to monitor your heart and blood vessels

Based on your sudden-death prevention screening, Dr. De Bruyn works closely with you to develop a strategy to help protect your heart health. A first step could include making lifestyle changes to increase your physical activity, improve your diet, and limit alcohol consumption.

As an expert in cardiac care and heart rhythm disorders, Dr. De Bruyn can also suggest long-term treatment like medications as well as life-saving treatments like pacemakers and ICDs.

What are pacemakers and ICDs?

Dr. De Bruyn implants pacemakers and ICDs, or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, to correct electrical signals in your heart.

A pacemaker works to deliver electrical pulses that keep your heart beating at a healthy rhythm. ICDs correct dangerous and life-threatening heart rhythms by providing a shock, or defibrillation. Many ICDs can function as a pacemaker and a defibrillator.

Call Heart Rhythm Associates or schedule an appointment online today.