Sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart stops pumping after an abnormally fast heart rhythm. A person loses consciousness and emergency treatment such as external defibrillation may return the heart to a more normal rhythm.
After a person recovers, a heart rhythm specialist will often prescribe treatment to control the heart rate or to automatically shock the heart into a normal rhythm.
Treatment options after a person is revived from sudden cardiac arrest may include medication and an implanted defibrillator.
A defibrillator detects when the heart's ventricles begin quivering (ventricular fibrillation) and delivers therapies that return the heart to a more normal rhythm.
People with an implanted defibrillator continue their lives with some lifestyle adjustments.