World Heart Day 2018: What is The Difference Between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest?
Heart attack and cardiac arrest (Photo Credits: The NY Center for The Prevention of Heart Disease/Facebook

We have heard the words cardiac arrest and heart attack been used interchangeably. But did you know that the two are not the same? The basic mechanisms of the two are entirely different and are caused by two different factors. A heart attack is when the heart muscles suddenly stop getting blood supply due to a clogged artery. In a cardiac arrest, a person’s heart stops pumping due to an electrical problem. On World Heart Day, let's learn the difference between two very distinct heart problems.

What is a Cardiac arrest?

A cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and there are no warning signs of it. The heart just stops beating suddenly and the person has no time to even realise. The blood flow is thus stopped and there is no blood reaching the brain and other vital organs of the body. Mostly it occurs because there is some disruption in heart functioning. Since the blood supply to the body is suddenly cut off, it needs immediate medical attention. In the treatment, an electrical shock is given to the patient to revive and get the heart beating. If not, the patient dies within minutes. Signs you are having a heart attack.

Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • General fatigue
  • Chest pain (weeks before the actual cardiac arrest)

Difference Between Sudden cardiac arrest and Heart Attack

A heart attack is when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the heart. The artery which provides blood to the heart’s portion gets blocked. If the blockage is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart begins to die. So even in case of a heart attack, the person should receive quick treatment. Our body tissues lose oxygen because blood cannot reach and it results in death. The blockage of arteries is also because of excessive consumption of fatty foods. Interesting Facts about the Human Heart That You Didn't Know Of.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

  • Chest pain
  • Aching in the left arm
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Discomfort and body tightness
  • Back and neck pain

Both cardiac arrest and heart attack are equally dangerous for the person but a heart attack has more recognizable symptoms. A heart attack can further trigger a cardiac arrest if not immediately treated. Some of the symptoms are same but there are revival chances in a heart attack. So, while tending to someone who has a cardiac arrest and a heart attack, is a matter of seconds and hours respectively. The Importance of Golden Hour During Heart Attack, And Seconds During Cardiac Arrest. Both heart diseases can be controlled if you follow a healthy lifestyle which includes daily exercise. If your family has a history of heart patients then you should regularly get the tests done and be extra careful.