Michael Jackson Dies
The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has passed away on Thursday, June 25th, 2009. He was pronounced dead at 2:26pm at the age of 50 years old.
Michael was 65 days shy of his 51st birthday and 14 days shy of his final concert tour called “This it is”.
The main cause of Michael Jackson’s death was Cardiac Arrest. The straight-up definition of Cardiac Arrest is simple, Michael’s heart had stopped pumping.
However, Cardiac Arrest is NOT the same as a heart attack. There were reports that Michael had died from a heart attack. This is not true.
A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when a coronary artery (one of the arteries that supplies blood to the heart muscle) becomes suddenly blocked. The sudden blockage robs a portion of the heart muscle of it vital blood supply, and the muscle dies. So a heart attack is the death of a part of the heart muscle.
A cardiac arrest, in contrast, is caused by a sudden heart arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation. In ventricular fibrillation, the electrical signals within the heart suddenly become completely chaotic. Because these electrical signals control the timing and the organization of the heartbeat, when those signals degenerate to total chaos, the heart suddenly stops beating. That is, it goes into “cardiac arrest.” The most common outcome of a cardiac arrest is sudden death.
Cardiac Arrest Kills
Sudden cardiac arrest kills 200,000 to 300,000 Americans a year.
What kills people during cardiac arrest is a condition called the ventricular fibrillation, a rapid quivering of the main pumping chambers in the bottom of the heart. When this occurs, little blood gets out. Brain cells die within minutes (source: Forbes).
For every minute that goes by without the heart being restored to a normal rhythm, the patient’s odds of survival drop by 10%. After ten minutes they’re gone (source: Forbes).
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