Behind The Wheel Cardiac Arrest


On Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 a 64-year-old truck driver in Queens died after he went into cardiac arrest and hit several cars.

On September 8, 2015, a 55-year-old truck driver died after a sudden cardiac arrest when he veered his tractor trailer into parked cars in Queens. (above)

In December 2015 Joseph Wiggins of Plant City, Florida, was awarded a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and truck decal by TCA for his life saving actions on May 11, 2015, when he began CPR on a truck driver who underwent a cardiac arrest. He was able to perform CPR until help arrived.

Everyday about 1,000 people — a number of them truck drivers — undergo a sudden cardiac arrest when the heart suddenly stops beating. The most common cause of a sudden cardiac arrest is an arrhythmia or an abnormal heart rhythm.

It’s Not a Heart Attack!

Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, which is caused by obstructions in blood vessels leading to the heart.


Sudden cardiac arrest symptoms are immediate and drastic and include:

  • Sudden collapse
  • No pulse
  • No breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

If the sudden cardiac arrest occurs outside of a hospital, there is a 90% chance of sudden cardiac death (SCD) within 8 to 10 minutes.

Men are two to three times more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest.

Medical experts have found that in the four weeks leading up to a sudden cardiac arrest, about 51% of people show some early warning signs:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations

If a driver experiences these symptoms, that go away quickly, they should call a doctor.

If these warning signs last for several minutes, even if for the first time, then call immediately 911.

According to the Mayo Clinic other risk factors include:

  • A family history of coronary artery disease
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Drinking too much alcohol (more than two drinks a day)
  • Age — the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest increases with age
  • Nutritional imbalance, such as low potassium or magnesium levels

Please pass this life-saving information along to your dispatchers, driver supervisors and drivers.

Smoking cessation:

Thank you for reading this.





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