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Difference Between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack

People often use Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. There are basic differences between them. When heart suddenly stops beating unexpectedly due to heart malfunction, it is called sudden cardiac arrest, while heart attack is when the blood flow to the heart is blocked.

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Cardiac is the result of electrical malfunction in the heart that may lead to irregular heartbeat and (arrhythmia). When this pumping action is disrupted, the heart ceases to pump blood to the brain, lungs, and other organs. Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. Due to this person becomes unresponsive and either stops breathing or is only able to gasp. In case of cardiac arrest, death can happen within minutes if the person doesn’t receive the treatment.

What should you do?

Cardiac arrest can reversed in some patient where they are able to receive treatment within few minutes. Call 9-1-1 and start CPR right away. If Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available within reach, use it immediately without losing any time. If there are two people to help, One should start with CPR while the other should call 9-1-1 and look around to find AED.

Heart Attack

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Heart attack usually happens when the arteries are blocked that carry oxygen rich blood to a section of the heart. If blocked arteries are not reopened quickly, that part of the heart begins to die which is nourished by those arteries. Heart attack is a circulation problem. The symptoms of the heart attack may be immediate, marked by intense pain in the chest and discomfort in the chest area or other areas of the upper body. The symptoms include shortness of breath, cold sweats, and nausea or vomiting. Often the symptom starts slowly and persists for hours, days or even week before the heart attack. Unlike Cardiac Arrest, the heart does not stop beating during Heart Attack. The longer the person goes without the treatment the bigger the damage will be incurred. The symptoms of Heart Attack in women differ from men.

What should you do?

If you observe the symptom of Heart attack, call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number, even when you are not sure. Every minute counts. In case of Heart Attack, call EMS right away so that emergency staff service can immediately begin the treatment as soon as they arrive. EMS staff are well trained, even to handle situation where heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain arriving at hospital in ambulance receive faster treatment at the hospital.

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