The main difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest is that a heart attack is a problem with circulation, while cardiac arrest is an electrical problem in the heart.
A heart attack happens when one or more coronary arteries get blocked. This cuts off blood flow to the heart muscle, which damages the heart tissue. This can make you feel pain in your chest, shortness of breath, and sick.
Cardiac arrest, on the other hand, happens when the electrical system of the heart breaks down, which stops the heart from beating properly. This can cause you to lose consciousness and suddenly stop breathing. Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that needs help immediately because it can cause brain damage or death in just a few minutes.
Even though heart attacks and cardiac arrest are life-threatening medical conditions, they are caused by different problems and need different treatments. Medications, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery are usually used to treat heart attacks. However, cardiac arrest needs immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation to restore normal heart function.
What is a Heart Attack?
Myocardial infarction is another name for a heart attack. It happens when a blood clot blocks blood flow to a part of the heart. This hurts the heart muscle and, if not treated, can lead to severe problems like heart failure or even death.
A heart attack can cause pain or discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and feeling dizzy. Different or unusual symptoms may show up in women and older people.
Age, family history, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are all things that can put you at risk for a heart attack. Most heart attacks happen when fatty deposits build up in the coronary arteries, which bring blood to the heart muscle. This buildup, called atherosclerosis, can cause blood clots that stop blood from flowing.
Medications that break up blood clots and improve blood flow are often used to treat a heart attack, along with lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating better, and exercising more. Sometimes, blood flow to the heart may need to be fixed through surgery or other means.
What is a Cardiac Arrest?
Cardiac arrest is a sudden loss of heart function caused by a problem with the heart’s electrical system. This makes the heart stop beating properly. This prevents blood from getting to the brain and other vital organs right away, which can quickly become life-threatening.
When a person has a cardiac arrest, they lose consciousness quickly, stop breathing, and don’t have a pulse or heartbeat. Several things, including heart disease, trauma, an overdose of drugs, or an electrical shock, can cause cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that needs help right away. This includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to manually pump blood to the vital organs and defibrillation to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) might also be needed to get the heart back to working normally.
Treatment and access to emergency medical services must happen quickly when someone has a cardiac arrest. This is because the longer the heart is stopped, the more likely serious problems will happen, like brain damage or death.
Difference Between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest
One of the main distinctions between a heart attack and cardiac arrest is the reason for the latter.
Angina pectoris is characterised by chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating. When the blood supply to the heart is cut off, as it often is due to a blood clot, the patient suffers a heart attack. As a result, the heart muscle is damaged, which can have dire consequences if not addressed.
Cardiac arrest is characterised by an abrupt loss of consciousness, cessation of breathing, and absence of pulse or heartbeat. In contrast, cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating efficiently due to an electrical defect in the heart. This immediately cuts off blood flow to the brain and other essential organs, which can be fatal quickly.
Each can be life-threatening if left untreated, but there are different causes and approaches to care for each. A cardiac arrest requires rapid cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation to restore normal heart function, while a heart attack can be treated with drugs, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery.
In general, a heart attack is brought on by a blockage in one of the blood veins that supplies the heart muscle. In contrast, cardiac arrest is brought on by an electrical problem in the heart that causes it to stop beating efficiently. It is essential to thoroughly understand the distinctions between both conditions to ensure quick diagnosis and treatment, as both can be fatal if not appropriately controlled.