Heart: Is there a cardiac arrest after jumping into the cold water?

Heart: Is there a cardiac arrest after jumping into the cold water?



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Cardiac arrest caused by cold water?
With the current summer temperatures there is nothing better than cooling off while bathing. It is always warned not to simply jump into cold water, otherwise there is a risk of cardiac arrest. But is that really true?

Can the heart stop when jumping into cold water?
The summer temperatures currently drive many people to the quarry lake, to the outdoor pool or to the sea. On hot days there is hardly any better cooling than a quick dip in cold water. However, caution is advised because the heart can stop - at least many people believe that. Whether this is really true is the subject of a message from the dpa news agency. Cardiologist and sports medicine specialist Susanne Berrisch-Rahmel from the Cardio-Centrum Düsseldorf explained that this assumption is incorrect in a healthy person. However, the jump can still be life-threatening.

A cold shock threatens if there are large temperature differences
In midsummer, the water is usually significantly colder than the air. "A sudden temperature difference can lead to a cold shock," explained Berrisch-Rahmel. The situation for the circulatory system is all the more extreme the greater the difference between air and water temperature, but this does not normally lead to cardiac arrest. Cold shock can be fatal to people who don't have a perfectly healthy heart. Scientists found in a study that there are more deaths in intense heat and cold. The main reason for this are cardiovascular diseases.

Seniors in particular should be careful
Seniors in particular should cool off before taking a bath, health experts advise. Because older people with cardiovascular diseases are at greater risk of reacting with life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias when jumping into the cool water. "The best thing to do is to cool down beforehand," says Berrisch-Rahmel. It doesn't matter whether you take a shower or make yourself comfortable at the water's edge - it is important that the skin is used to the temperature before jumping into cold water. (ad)

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