Headway
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Cardiac Arrest

Hi all I am new to this site.

I have a question which I am really desperate to find the answer to.

My question is after a Cardiac Arrest, what is life like?

I have a friend who's family member has suffered Cardiac Arrest, from my friend I am aware that after a cardiac arrest the person cannot do basic things by themselves anymore for example, eat, walk, talk and many more. I would like to know more about this as I feel it is rude to ask my friend and may upset him.

Thank you.

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It completely depends on the severity of the damage to the brain, some people recover almost completely, others will always struggle. The important thing is to remember that it will take quite a long time to see the results. The brain is very complex. With a broken leg you can see it healing and see the person beginning to walk better - with a brain this isn't possible. The best thing for the person is complete rest at the beginning whilst the healing is going on. Get your friend to play his family member some favourite music, talk to them gently and reassure them that they are getting better and not to worry if he/she isn't responding at the moment. For more information, phone Headway and get some leaflets that you can pass on to the family.

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Hello Marco6505

I agree with Exhaustedwife because it can depend if they is any damage to the brain or not from the cardiac arrest.

Ben

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If your friend sustained anoxic or hypoxic brain injury, then imagine it taking you ten times as long and ten times as much energy to do about 10% of what you used to be able to do everything in your life and that there are just some things you can no longer do. You get fatigued very easily and quickly after only a few minutes of sounds, people, and movement. You get easily overwhelmed, have trouble finding words to express what you want to communicate, although you can quickly let out a string of swearing like you've never heard before and maybe never use before. There are little to no filters to what you may do or say. You are quick to anger over even minor things. You get depressed and wonder why you just couldn't have died instead of surviving with all these new unbelievable problems and limitations. Anger, grieve, depression, anxiety, and many other emotions are running full speed ahead. One's chances of returning to their old self is pretty close to zero. There is probably much more I've left out, but other than that life can be functional. Just attempting to be straight with you about this. Not a path I recommend for anyone. You may also want to check out the information on this website: headway.org.uk/search/?Sear...

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most cardiac arrests recover fully

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Hi Marco6505. I haven't suffered a cardiac arrest but did have a stroke mimic in 2016 brought on my stress. This left me with symptoms associated with having a real stroke and I went through similar rehabilitation to a stroke victim. As others have said here everyone's experience is different so its hard to generalise. Much of it depends on how healthy, fit and active the person was prior to their cardiac arrest. For me though the symptoms of my stroke mimic were left-sided weakness (particularly in my leg and arm), mouth drooping on left side (I needed speech therapy), inability to walk/drive and depression. Your friend's family member might suffer from none or all these things. Fortunately for me I had a really supportive family and rehab team who helped me through and I have almost regained everything I lost.

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