25 February 2018

Curious minds want to know…

Legendary movie actress from India – Sridevi had an untimely demise. While I am not into movies, even I knew of her. Certainly she was famous enough that news of her demise made it to the New York Times.

But apart from the sadness of such a young life lost, I have a pet peeve. Why do news channels report that “so and so died of a sudden cardiac arrest”. ?

What do you mean “sudden” cardiac arrest? Since when have cardiac arrests been taking appointments? Aren’t all cardiac arrest sudden? What is the origin of such use?

Posted February 25, 2018 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings


  1. By Ramesh Mantha on

    Let me offer my 2c. Cardiac arrest could be sudden [meaning often leading to quick death] or gradual, as in people can suffer a heart attack and not even notice it much or sometimes ignore it and go about but face the consequences of ignoring it over time, or anywhere in between. Analogous to an engine that has a clogged exhaust pipe or a clogged fuel inlet pipe, sputtering but still working vs. completely shutting down. Sridevi was one of the best actresses of this century, and was part of my memories as I was growing up, she will never be forgotten.

    1. By Rajib Roy on

      That would make sense sine the heart attack is about the heart muscle not getting oxygen. Cardiac arrest is when the heart just quits pumping any more. There is only one way – sudden. (Often heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest)

  2. By Ramesh Mantha on

    Google search reveals “A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.”. Interesting, I learnt something new today.

  3. By Rajib Roy on

    Yeah! I am ready to go on to a tirade of aren’t all drowning accidental? Actually that is not true… it could be homicidal too

  4. By Sridhar Sampath on

    My 2 c: the subject didn’t have a history of heart problems, so it was ‘sudden’! On the other hand, if the subject was ailing for some time, then it obviously was not sudden!


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