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Argentine football legend Diego Maradona dies of cardiac arrest: Symptoms to look out for

Iconic footballer Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup, died after suffering a cardiac arrest on Wednesday.

The Argentina football legend, Diego Maradona, regarded by many as the greatest footballer of all time, passed away today at the age of 60 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He had reportedly suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest and was left in a serious condition. He was hospitalized earlier this month after he complained of low spirits and fatigue. Doctors treating him found a blood clot in the brain and he underwent surgery for the same, which was successful. He was discharged and was recuperating at home when he suffered the cardiac arrest.

Maradona began his professional career with Argentinos Juniors at the age of 16 and went on to become one of the greatest players ever to step onto a football field. The legendary footballer shot to fame after Argentina's glory at the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico. He also led Napoli to two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990. He retired in 1997 and became a coach and manager for the Argentina national team between 2008-2010. At the time of his untimely death, he was coach of Argentine Primera Divisi n club Gimnasia de La Plata.

CARDIAC ARREST - WHAT IS IT?

Cardiac arrest is a serious heart condition wherein the heart stops pumping blood around the body. The word arrest means to stop or bring to a halt. In cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating. It's also known as sudden cardiac death.

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Your heartbeat is controlled by electrical impulses. When these impulses change the pattern, the heartbeat becomes irregular. This is also known as an arrhythmia. Some arrhythmias are slow, others are rapid. Cardiac arrest occurs when the rhythm of the heart stops.

WHAT CAUSES CARDIAC ARREST

Cardiac arrest is common among sports people, but the reason is unclear. It is a known and proven fact that regular physical exercise brings down the risk of cardiovascular death. But, exercise and sports-related physical activity may sometimes occur in someone with underlying silent or unknown coronary, myocardial, or valvular heart disease.

A number of factors can cause sudden cardiac arrest. Two of the most common are ventricular and atrial fibrillation.

Ventricular Fibrillation: This is the most common cause of a sudden cardiac arrest. Your heart consists of four chambers. The two lower chambers are the ventricles. In ventricular fibrillation, these chambers quiver out of control. This causes the heart's rhythm to change dramatically. In some cases, the circulation of blood stops completely. This may lead to sudden cardiac death.

  • Ventricular fibrillation can also happen as a result of events unrelated to heart disease such as:
  • Suffocation or choking
  • Electrocution
  • Loss of a lot of blood such as hemorrhage
  • Allergic reaction
  • Drowning
  • Drug overdose.

Atrial Fibrillation: The heart can also stop beating suddenly after an arrhythmia in the upper chambers out of the four chambers. These upper chambers are generally known as the atria.

Atrial fibrillation begins when the sinoatrial (SA) node doesn't send out the correct electrical impulses. Located in the right atrium, your SA node regulates how quickly the heart pumps blood. When the electrical impulse goes into atrial fibrillation, the ventricles can't pump blood out to the body efficiently.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF CARDIAC ARREST

For many people, a cardiac arrest comes without any warning signs. However, some people do experience some warning signs before a cardiac arrest. These signs and symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Fainting
  • Breathlessness.

Someone who has already had a cardiac arrest will be:

  • Unconscious
  • Unresponsive
  • Not breathing.

The above-mentioned signs and symptoms can also appear up to two weeks before a cardiac arrest takes place. Always make sure to understand each and every changes your body is undergoing. Sometimes, cardiac arrest can come without any signs and symptoms. But, If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms persistently, then do not delay in seeking proper medical advice from your doctor. Always remember - Getting treatment before your heart stops could save your life.

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