Lifeline Patients who succumb to sudden cardiac death often show symptoms of cardiac arrest two hours before dying, claimed a study conducted by University of Berlin. In the study, 406 cases of cardiac arrest at a mobile intensive care unit in Berlin were taken, where it was revealed that two-thirds of the patients had a history of heart disease, WebMD reported on Monday.

Researcher Dirk Muller of the University of Berlin said, “Our study suggests that shifting the focus to educating high-risk patients and families may lead to earlier recognition, a quicker call to the emergency medical system, a higher percentage of bystander CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation), and thus to a higher probability of survival in patients with sudden cardiac death.”

According to the study, 72 percent of the cardiac arrests occurred in the victims’ homes, and 67 percent were witnessed by a bystander. Symptom data, which was available for 323 of the 406 cases, showed that 25 percent of the victims experienced chest pains lasting from 20 minutes to 10 hours and 30 minutes before the cardiac arrest.

Breathlessness was the next most common symptom, seen in 17 percent of witnessed arrests and 30 percent of other cases. Other common symptoms were nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting.

“Training and prevention efforts should be focused on how to recognize the emergency, CPR training and automated external defibrillator use,” Muller added.