Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack: Cardiovascular issues are as scary as they sound and require immediate medical attention. It is imperative that in cases of such medical emergencies, you know what course of action you must take. But before you decide on the first aid, what is important is that you know the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest. Here is how you can differentiate between the two.What is a cardiac arrest?
Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction of the heart. This malfunction leads to arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. Since the pumping of the heart is disrupted, the heart is unable to pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs of the body. The patient can die within minutes if medical attention is not provided.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack occurs when the arteries get clogged and blood stops flowing to parts of the heart. This blocked blood flow means that a part of the heart is not receiving oxygen-rich blood due to which the heart tissue can slowly start deteriorating. Because of this improper blood flow, if medical attention is not provided well in time, it can lead to death.
Main differences between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack
Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction of the heart while a heart attack is a circulation issue of the heart. A cardiac arrest is sudden and can occur at any time with no prior signals. A heart attack, on the other hand, has symptoms accumulating over a period of time.
Symptoms of cardiac arrest:
Symptoms of a heart attack:
-Shortness of breath
-Jaw, chest, and arm pain
-Dizziness and nauseousness can occur, more specifically in women
How to help?
Cardiac arrest: As per the American Heart Foundation, cardiac arrest is reversible, however medical attention is needed immediately.
-If you see the signs of a cardiac arrest in a person, first and foremost call an ambulance at 102.
-Give CPR as this will help bring movement to heart. With the help of your hands, you are supposed to pump the chest area at about 100 times in a minute, roughly at the rate at which heart pulses.
-Get an AED. Automatic External Defibrillator is needed during a cardiac arrest to shock the heart.
Heart attack: During a heart attack, your prime action should be to make the person sit down and calm them down. Do not prolong this as the more you wait, the more damage is happening to the heart.
-Call 102 and get medical attention right away.
-Give CPR if the person is unconscious.
-If the person is not allergic to aspirin, get them to chew one (however, ask the hospital once).
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