How Many Cardiac Arrests can You Survive?

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 12 October 2023
How Many Cardiac Arrests can You Survive?

It is difficult to answer the question, "How many cardiac arrests can you survive". The reason is every cardiac arrest is different from the other. The number of cardiac arrests you can survive also depends on how quickly you receive medical help. People who receive quick medical help are likely to survive more cardiac arrests than others who don't. 

This article will help you get answers to questions like "how many cardiac arrests can you survive", the survival rate after a cardiac arrest and other vital information.

Events that occur during a Cardiac Arrest

There are several events that occur during cardiac arrest. These include:

  1. The patient becomes unconscious within 6 seconds. However, if the oxygen supply is restored immediately, the patient can regain consciousness within seconds.
  2. An absence of oxygen for 2 minutes leads to brain damage.
  3. If this absence lasts more than 4 minutes, brain cells are permanently lost. 
  4. The patient becomes unconscious when ischemic anoxia or absence of oxygen is more than 10 minutes. 

Caregivers must note two important things about this medical condition:

  1. The heart doesn't stop all of a sudden during a sudden cardiac arrest. During 3-5 minutes, the heart beats between 350-400 per second. 
  2. These 3-5 minutes is the golden period when the victim must receive a shock that restores his/her blood supply. 
  3. You can help victims of multiple cardiac arrests by administering CPR and restoring the blood flow to the brain. 
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Symptoms of Cardiac Arrests

This problem arises when the heart's electrical system is disrupted. This disruption causes a lack of flow of blood to the various organs of the body. The main symptoms of cardiac arrest are:

  1. No pulse and/or breathing
  2. Discomfort in the chest
  3. Sudden loss of consciousness
  4. Difficulty in breathing
  5. Fluttering or pounding of the heart (also called palpitation)
  6. Dizziness or lightheartedness

Causes of Cardiac Arrest

Even people who haven't had any history of heart disease can be a victim of multiple cardiac arrests. Some of the common causes are:

  1. Coronary Artery Disease: This happens when bad cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels and restricts blood flow to the heart.
  2. Heart Attack: A heart attack can scar tissues in the heart and later cause electrical short circuits, triggering multiple cardiac arrests.
  3. Cardiomyopathy or an enlarged heart.
  4. People who have a leaking or narrow heart valve.
  5. Children with Congenital Heart Disease. 
  6. People who have had CHD procedures.
  7. Malfunctioning of the heart's electrical systems.

Multiple Cardiac Arrest trigger factors

Certain events can trigger multiple cardiac arrests. However, these triggers are more common in people with previous heart diseases and other risk factors. The most common trigger factors are:

  1. Heavy drinking
  2. Sleeping or resting after intense workouts: Research has indicated that in 33% of all multiple cardiac arrests, the event occurred while the victim was resting or sleeping after an intense workout or exercise. 
  3. Consumption of marijuana, cocaine or amphetamines.
  4. Heavy consumption of coffee: However, this trigger factor is more applicable to people who don't drink coffee regularly. On the other hand, regular coffee drinkers should limit their consumption to 3 cups per day. 
  5. Emotional stress
  6. Influenza

Multiple cardiac arrests can occur more in some groups. These are:

  1. Age: As stated earlier, the chances of multiple cardiac arrests are lower in people below 30.
  2. Sex: Men are more prone to multiple cardiac arrests than women. On the other hand, this risk rises significantly among women who have crossed menopause. 

Chances of getting a Cardiac Arrest

Sudden multiple cardiac arrests can happen anytime and to anyone, but some age groups are more prone to this condition. According to research, sudden cardiac arrest is a rarity among young people, and the cardiac arrest survival rate among young people is better than in older people. 

Another research report indicates that 10% of all deaths in India are because of sudden cardiac arrest or SCA, which is also the most common death factor worldwide.

Yet another survey has indicated that 30% of people who experienced this medical condition were under 45. The same survey claims that cardiac arrest is responsible for more than 12 lakh deaths annually in India. 

Cardiac Arrest induced Coma

According to research, 80% of victims who survive multiple SCA (sudden cardiac arrest) remain unconscious for several weeks or months. Patients don't regain consciousness or attain higher mental functioning in this condition. Some survivors may open their eyes and show limited understanding of their environment. 

Doctors call this state a persistent vegetative state; patients can continue for decades without regaining consciousness. 

Recovery from multiple cardiac arrests

  1. Immediate recovery: Doctors put the victims in an induced coma to allow the latter’s bodies to recover from the attack.
  2. Mid-term recovery: Here, the doctors find out what caused the attack and, depending on the investigation, recommend the appropriate medication. Patients may also be referred to cardiac rehabilitation clinics to rebuild confidence and fitness.
  3. Long-term recovery: For long-term recovery after sudden cardiac arrest, doctors would prescribe a healthy diet and other lifestyle changes to multiple cardiac arrest victims.

Summing up, the answer to the question “How many cardiac arrests can you survive”, there is no definitive answer to it. It depends on the following factors:

  1. Condition of the heart (if the patient has led a healthy lifestyle to keep the heart health in prime condition).  
  2. The location where the cardiac arrest occurs, such as a hospital, home, etc. (Closer to the hospital, the greater the chances of survival).
  3. How quickly the patient receives help after the first cardiac arrest.


This article on "how many cardiac arrests can you survive" focuses on the risk factors behind this medical condition. It also dwells on the causes and triggers that lead to multiple cardiac arrests. CPR and defibrillators can help victims survive this medical condition. However, it must be emphasized that providing timely help is the key in such situations. The survival rate after cardiac arrest also depends on where the arrest happens. Usually, patients have better chances of surviving multiple cardiac arrests in a hospital. 

Providing CPR timely can also help multiple cardiac arrest victims immensely. As per available research, the cardiac arrest CPR survival rate is double or triple in patients that receive this assistance immediately. 

You can contact HexaHealth to learn more about multiple cardiac arrests and how many cardiac arrests can you survive. HexaHealth experts help you get in touch with the right medical service providers, be it multiple cardiac arrests or recovery after sudden cardiac arrests. Contact a HexaHealth expert TODAY!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many minutes of cardiac arrests can you survive?

Without CPR, cardiac arrests can be fatal if they last beyond 10 minutes. Cardiac arrest treatment must start immediately if the patient is outside a healthcare facility.

How many cardiac arrests can you survive in the hospital?

There is no direct answer to the question of how many cardiac arrests can you survive. Even if you survive the first attack, you might succumb to the next one. 

What percentage of cardiac arrests are fatal?

The answer depends on where the victim suffers an attack. For example, 90% of people who get attacks outside a hospital die. 

What causes multiple cardiac arrests?

Persons having coronary heart disease, prior history of heart attacks and leaking heart valves are likely to have multiple cardiac arrests. In addition, an enlarged heart can also cause this medical condition.

What is the cardiac arrest survival rate?

Nearly 10% of people who get cardiac arrests outside hospitals survive. This figure is 25% for in-hospital patients. 

What are the CPR chances of survival?

Administering CPR immediately to a patient can triple or double his survival rate. Research suggests that 46% of all OHCA victims survive because of CPR. 

Are all cardiac arrests fatal?

No, all cardiac arrests are not fatal. Providing CPR within the first couple of minutes can help the patient in significant recovery after sudden cardiac arrest. 

Do cardiac arrests happen suddenly?

Yes, cardiac arrests happen suddenly and without any warning. This condition happens when the heart's electrical system stops working and sending blood to the brain.

What time of the day do most cardiac arrests happen?

Cardiac arrests are more likely to occur in the early mornings. Research has indicated that our body releases cytokinin in the mornings, which is responsible for this medical condition. 

Where do 80% of all sudden cardiac arrests happen?

Out-of-hospital and public settings account for 88% of all sudden cardiac care arrests. Out of this figure, the former and the latter account for 70% and 18% of cases, respectively. 

Is there any warning before sudden cardiac death?

Consult a doctor if you are experiencing chest pain or discomfort. Irregular breathing and shortness of breath are also common warning symbols. 

What are the odds of surviving CPR?

The odds are higher when the patient is within a hospital. Research has indicated that 46% of OHCA victims benefit from CPR.

What is the average age of sudden cardiac death?

The average age ranges between 30 to 40. Sudden cardiac death affects men more than women, according to available research. 

What is the number one cause of sudden cardiac death?

The number one cause of sudden cardiac death is coronary heart disease. This factor accounts for more than 80% of all sudden cardiac deaths.

Why does cardiac arrests happen in sleep?

Rare genetic disorders or structural tissues of the heart that affect the heartbeat can lead to cardiac arrests during sleep. Researchers also suspect that disruption in the breathing pattern (sleep apnea) can also cause cardiac arrests during sleeping.

Updated on : 12 October 2023


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


About Authors

HexaHealth Care Team

HexaHealth Care Team brings you medical content covering many important conditions, procedures falling under different medical specialities. The content published is thoroughly reviewed by our panel of qualified doctors for its accuracy and relevance.

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