Heart Attack Vs. Cardiac Arrest: What’s the Difference

Heart Attack is different than Cardiac Arrest

India woke up the unfortunate news of Sri Devi’s sudden demise.

It came as a big shock, a huge blow.

Unexpected and totally out of the blue. She was just 54, into fitness and watched her diet very closely (as per the media reports).

Cause of death is said to be Cardiac Arrest.

A lot of people discussed at length how come she didn’t know she had a heart problem, wasn’t she undergoing regular health checkups, in spite of being a fitness freak how come she developed a heart disease and tons of other speculations were made about her over all and heart health.

But little do they know and realize that cardiac arrest is not heart attack!

Heart attack or myocardial infarction is a totally different condition than cardiac arrest.

What is cardiac arrest?

A sudden cardiac arrest is an unexpected and sudden/abrupt loss of the functioning of the heart, breathing and consciousness. It happens due to a sudden disturbance in the functioning of the heart which leads to disruption in pumping of the blood. This results in cutting off  the blood supply to the rest of the body. Sudden cardiac arrest needs prompt and immediate medical attention. In absence of which, it can lead to death.


Cardiac Arrest Vs Heart Attack

There is a difference between heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest. In heart attack the blood flow gets blocked in a portion of the heart and this injures the muscles. Where as in cardiac arrest the heart stops functioning due to the loss of pumping action of heart.

heart attack is a “circulation” problem but

sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem

In some cases, a heart attack can also trigger a sudden cardiac arrest.

Heart-Attack vs cardiac arrest


5 differences between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest –

  1. A heart attack is not the same as a cardiac arrest.
  2. A heart attack is when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked. The heart muscle is robbed of its vital blood supply and, if left untreated, will begin to die because it is not getting enough oxygen.
  3. A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and they stop breathing normally.
  4. Many cardiac arrests in adults happen because of a heart attack. This is because a person who is having a heart attack may develop a dangerous heart rhythm, which can cause a cardiac arrest.
  5. A heart attack and a cardiac arrest are both emergency situations. Call for medical help straight away.

Risk factors of cardiac arrest

There are many lifestyle risk factors that up your chances of a cardiac arrest. Such as,

  • A problem of high blood pressure or hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol levels
  • No or very less physical activity
  • Overweight or obesity

First aid for sudden cardiac arrest

In case of a sudden cardiac arrest, the patient must be immediately administered medical help. Call a doctor as soon as possible. Meanwhile, administering of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can help.  One can just give compression to the chest before the medical help arrives.  If proper steps are taken, survival is possible.

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