Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest – Are They Same?
In day to day life, we encounter with two terms Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest and usually misuse them as synonyms however these two are different. A sudden cardiac arrest is different than a heart attack however they are linked somewhere. In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack and also the link between the two.
Heart Attack –
A Heart Attack is a CIRCULATION problem.
In layman terms, a heart attack is when a nerve gets blocked and does not allow the supply of blood to the heart. Technically, due to some reason, if artery gets blocked, it prevents oxygen-rich blood to reach to the required section of the heart. If the blocked artery does not get opened quickly, the part of the heart which was nourished by the artery begins to die. The heart does not stop beating during the heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate but usually start slowly and remains for hours, days or even months before a heart attack. The heart attack symptoms can be different in men as well as women.
Cardiac Arrest –
Cardiac Arrest is an ELECTRICAL problem.
Cardiac Arrest occurs when the heart does not function properly and stops beating unexpectedly. Cardiac arrest is initiated by an electrical malfunction in the human heart which causes the irregular heartbeat. This situation of irregular heartbeat is called arrhythmia. The cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and without any prior warning. Since the pumping action of heart gets disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to different organs in body say lungs, brain etc. and within seconds the person suffering from cardiac arrest loses consciousness and pulses get vanished. Death may occur within minutes if the patient does not receive any treatment.
Link between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack
The two terms are different however they are linked with one another. A person may suffer from cardiac arrest after a heart attack or during recovery from heart attack. Heart attack actually increases the chances that patient may suffer from cardiac arrest. Most of the heart attack does not cause sudden cardiac arrest but if a cardiac arrest occurs, chances are very high that the reason is a heart attack, however, there are other conditions which may lead to cardiac arrest. Some of them are thickened heart muscles, heart failure, arrhythmias and long Q-T syndrome.
What to do during a heart attack and cardiac arrest –
The very first step should be to call ambulance or medical help however in any case if medical help is getting delayed then one should start giving CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). This is a life-saving technique in many emergencies like drowning, when someone stopped breathing, or heartbeat has stopped or heart attack etc.