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Why does cardiac arrests often happen in the bathroom? Know reasons


With each passing day the number of people dying of a sudden heart attack has become very common and shocking. If we consider recent deaths due to heart attacks, the most venerable group is those aged between 35 to 45 due to lifestyle-related stress. Although people nowadays are prioritising cardiac health, they still only have a limited knowledge about the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy heart.

Dr. Nityanand Tripathi, the director and unit head — cardiology and electrophysiology at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh cleared up the doubts related to heart health, on the occasion on World Hypertension Day. Along with that he also shed light on the topic of increasing disproportionately-high rate of heart-attacks taking place in the bathroom.

According to the specialist, before learning more on this topic, one must first understand what a cardiac arrest is and how is it caused. He furthered explained that heart attacks or cardiac arrests is a condition where a person’s heart stops beating. As heart beats to pump oxygenated blood to essential organs, when the organ stop functioning it causes all other organs to collapse into taking the person’s life.

On the other hand, ‘heart attack’ is a condition where a part of the heart stops getting oxygenated blood after a sudden clot forms in one of the blood vessels that supplies blood to that part of the heart. In both the cases, a patient’s life is at risk, the doctor explained.

Dr. Tripathi added to his statement that most people spend an average of 30 minutes at the toilet. It has been observed lately that the restroom is the place where heart attack and cardiac arrests have been happening at a disproportionately-high frequency, of 8 to 11 per cent.

As bathrooms are private places, detection and resuscitation are always delayed. It is not easy to detect a heart attack or cardiac arrest at its initial stage, and by the time a person recognises the symptoms it is too late.Therefore, the outcomes are always poor. ‘The frequency of collapse is 8 per cent, and the chances of revival a dismal 13 per cent,’ said the expert.

He further explained that the most common cause of heart attack or sudden cardiac death during one’s time in a bathroom is a consequence of defecation/micturition syncope. Fainting during pooping or peeing can happen due to straining which may lead to decrease in blood pressure. The lack of blood flow to the brain is likely to cause unconsciousness. However, not only low blood pressure but high blood pressure can also happen due to these event causing a sudden cardiac arrest in the toilet and bathroom.

Apart from that, taking a shower — either too hot or too cold– can have an impact on heart rate, blood pressure, and distribution of blood flow. Bathing in too cold water can cause low blood flow from all sides towards the head, increasing the stress on arteries and capillaries, and eventually leading to disproportionate cardiac events.

Also Read: Conditions That Increase Risk Of Heart Attack

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