Cardiovascular arrest is a complete failure of the cardiovascular system. This occurs due to a sudden cessation of pumping function of the heart. As a result, the circulation of blood in the body stops and an emergency situation occurs. The drastic drop in blood pressure results in an insufficient supply of blood and oxygen to the organs. The condition can be stabilized via resuscitation measures, which is why it is important that these are initiated immediately after the condition occurs. Cardiovascular arrest is reversible for only a short period of time and is often titled clinical death.
Typical symptoms of cardiovascular arrest are respiratory arrest, pulselessness, sudden loss of consciousness accompanied by a blue-gray discoloration of the skin. In addition, affected persons usually have bilateral dilated, unresponsive pupils. Cardiovascular arrest is usually caused by circulatory disorders of the coronary vessels, severe blood loss due to accidents or oxygen deficiency resulting from respiratory arrest or poisoning.