Difference between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

Usually, most people use both terms interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. Some people use both terms without distinction to refer to sudden pains in the heart. Although they are frequently confused, while heart attack and cardiac arrest leave permanent sequelae, and can even take the lives of people who suffer from them, the reality is that “heart attack” and “cardiac arrest” are not the same. The basic difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest is that a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked. On the other hand, cardiac arrest occurs when the heart fails and suddenly stops beating. The major difference in both is that: a heart attack is a “circulation problem” while cardiac arrest is an “electrical problem”.

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack happens if a blocked artery prevents oxygenated blood from reaching a section of the heart. When the blocked artery does not unblock quickly, the part of the heart that is normally supplied by this artery begins to die. The longer the person takes to receive treatment, the greater the damage. Our heart is in charge of pumping blood throughout the body. It distributes oxygen and nutrients to all cells. If you have a heart attack, the heart continues to beat while the blood does not reach the heart or part of it. This usually happens because the arteries, which are responsible for carrying oxygenated blood to the heart, are clogged. When the heart attack is very strong, it can lead to cardiac arrest, but not the other way around.

Heart Attack Symptoms

There are several symptoms of a heart attack that can be immediate and severe. These symptoms more often appear slowly and persist for the hours, days, or weeks before the heart attack. Unlike sudden cardiac arrest, the heart generally does not stop beating during a heart attack.

The Heart Attack Symptoms can be different in women and men.

What is Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. Cardiac arrest is triggered through an electrical disturbance of the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat. The heart cannot send blood to the brain, lungs, or other organs with interrupted pumping. The person loses consciousness and has no pulse after some time. When the victim is not treated, death occurs within minutes. The lungs also stop working. As a result, the rhythm of the heartbeat is altered, causing arrhythmias. Then the heart beats faster or slower than it should. When cardiac arrest occurs and proper medical care is not administered, the person who suffers it is likely to die.

See also: How is a cardiac arrest treated?

Signs and Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest:

if you are in cardiac arrest, you may experiences these symptoms:

  • Short of breath.
  • feel fatigued
  • Become dizzy.
  • Vomit
  • Heart palpitations

It may not have symptoms before it occurs. Immediate emergency care is needed when you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • No pulse is to be found.
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

See also: How many cardiac arrests can you survive

Difference between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest In Tabular Form

Heart Attack

Cardiac Arrest

Usually, occur due to the blockage of a coronary artery in the heart. Usually, occur when the heart stops beating due to certain reasons.
Clotting of blood in the arteries prevents the smooth flow of blood through the heart muscle. It causes an individual to pass away slowly. When the heart becomes unresponsive because of ventricular fibrillation, drug overdose, a clot in lungs, imbalance of minerals in the blood, etc.
Its primary cause is blood clots that occur in the arteries. The stopping of the heart, leading to heart failure primarily due to ventricular fibrillation is the several causes of cardiac arrests.
It may be caused due to a variety of different factors That are listed below:

  • drowning
  • shock
  • hypothermia, etc.
The main causes of cardiac arrest related to the heart are:

  • heart attack
  • heart valve disease
  • acute myocarditis
  • cardiomyopathy
  • congenital heart disease

Some other causes of cardiac arrest are given below:

  • hypoxia
  • electrocution
  • drug overdose
  • severe hemorrhage
The Major Symptoms of heart attack are listed below:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • coughing.
Its main symptoms are listed below:

  • unconsciousness
  • shortness of breath
  • no pulse
  • vomit
  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain
Heart attack victims are generally smokers and people with unhealthy diets. Cardiac arrest victims may also be overweighted people and those without regular exercise.

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