Cardiopulmonary Arrest & Intestinal Stenosis

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Cardiopulmonary Arrest & Intestinal Stenosis
Loss of heartbeat results in cardiopulmonary arrest. (heart beat medical image by Nicemonkey from

Intestinal stenosis is the partial blockage of the intestine. As happened with Heather O'Rourke, the star of "Poltergeist," intestinal stenosis can lead to cardiopulmonary arrest, which resulted in her death in 1988. Cardiopulmonary arrest means that a patient's heartbeat has slowed drastically or that the heart or lungs have ceased to function.

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Intestinal stenosis is caused by the twisting of the intestines of a developing foetus or the obstruction of the intestines due to abdominal wall defects, hernia or disease. In fatal cases of intestinal stenosis, the patient's body is so malnourished that cardiopulmonary arrest may ensue. Cardiopulmonary arrest is also caused by heartbeat irregularities, pacemaker failures, drowning and a variety of other events.


Intestinal stenosis is characterised by nausea, vomiting, inability to eat properly and abdominal pain. Cardiopulmonary arrest is characterised by loss of consciousness, respiration and pulse. It can be fatal within a few minutes. It is often preceded by chest pain, shortness of breath and lightheadedness.


The treatment for intestinal stenosis depends on the location of the blockage and the resulting symptoms. For patients with distended abdomens, their excess gas is removed through a tube. For patients who cannot absorb enough nutrition from their food, IV nutrition and fluids may be provided. Cardiopulmonary arrest is treated by CPR, followed by defibrillation and other emergency care.

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