HYDERABAD: The growing incidence of young people experiencing sudden cardiac arrests in their 30s and early 50s, including 39-year-old Tollywood actor Nandamuri Taraka Ratna or 46-year-old Kannada star Puneeth Rajkumar, is alarming both the general public and the medical community.

Doctors advise that people begin routine checkups at the age of 30, especially if they display symptoms that could be indicators of an impending cardiac arrest. Doctors used to recommend checkups for those over 40, but due to the increasing number of younger people experiencing cardiac attacks and the rising stress brought on by modern lifestyles, they now recommend it starting at age 30. Doctors also underscored the importance of learning Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), which can help save a person’s life if their heart or breathing stops.

Dr. Naveen Krishna, a senior interventional cardiologist, said younger people may develop symptoms that can act as warning indicators, such as a burning sensation in the chest that is often mistaken for gastric issues, sweating without exertion, shortness of breath, and weakness following physical exercise that they used to find easy. “A mistake many people make when they have a burning sensation in the chest is to not consult a doctor, but buy over the counter medication,” he stated.

There can, however, in rare circumstances be no precursory symptoms of a

cardiac arrest. In such situations, Dr. Krishna recommends people to check

if anyone in their families have a history of suffering a cardiac arrest at a young age. The family members could be parents, cousins, uncles, aunts or grandparents.

The incident involving Tarakaratna, according to doctors, has underlined the

need for public education and training in CPR to save lives. “Each second delay decreases the chances of survival. Bystander CPR can be initiated by the public, and we need to give them training in basic CPR,” noted Dr V. Hariram, a consultant in interventional cardiology.

Along with CPR, the general public can be trained on how to operate defibrillators, devices that send electric shocks to the heart to restore heartbeat in the event of a cardiac arrest. They are currently available only in airports and hotels, and should be more widespread, he said.

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