The television image of a heart attack â€” a man suddenly clutches his chest and keels over â€” is actually a picture of sudden cardiac arrest. This frightening and often deadly event usually occurs out of the blue. The cause? The appearance of a dangerous heart rhythm that makes the muscle in the wall of the heart's biggest chambersâ€”the two lower ventriclesâ€”begin to quiver and pulsate rather than forcefully contracting. This "rhythm," called ventricular fibrillation, makes it impossible for the heart to pump any blood to the body.
This multitouch book from Harvard Health Publications covers the medical background of sudden cardiac arrest, and includes original 3D renders and videos, interactive diagrams and other content, and text from the renowned team at Harvard Medical School.