Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack: A Doctor Explains the Difference

 

In early December, last year, a beloved and former chief minister of India had a cardiac arrest. What followed suit was confusion between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack.

 

It is not uncommon for a non-doctor to get confused between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack. Though they might sound similar, they are very different from each other. Let us decode the difference today.

 

Heart Attack

 

A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, is a condition that happens when there is a sudden blockage of the flow of blood to the heart.

 

When there is decreased or no flow to a part of the heart, the area supplied by that artery starts dying, called ‘infarction in the medical terminology. The heart is still beating and doing its work, but probably not as efficiently.

 

The longer the part doesn't receive blood, lesser are the chances of recovery for that part of the heart. Cardiologists call it a problem in the 'plumbing system' of the heart.

 

Cardiac Arrest

 

In a cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops beating. This is typically because of a problem in the electrical system of the heart. As soon as the heart stops beating, there is no blood flow to the entire body, including the brain. When a cardiac arrest occurs, a person may have only a few minutes before his or her body suffers irreversible damage. In such a scenario, immediate medical attention is required and you may need to start CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation till expert medical help arrives.

 

In most cases of a cardiac arrest, the cause turns out to be a heart attack. But, a cardiac arrest can also occur because of other conditions that can affect the electrical system of the heart:

 
  • Cardiomyopathies - disease of the muscles

 

  • Electrolyte abnormalities

 

 

 

The minister we alluded to earlier had a cardiac arrest and not a heart attack. The treating doctors recently gave a detailed summary of her illness and mentioned she had a cardiac arrest when she was recovering. Though this is uncommon, it is not rare. Patients can have an unexpected cardiac arrest as they are recovering.

 

Conclusion

 

We hope this helps you in getting a better idea of the difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack. Nevertheless, we would be more than to happy to clear any of your doubts regarding the same. You can email us at info@voiceofhealth.in or you can post your query at our Facebook or Twitter pages.   

 

Related Article: Understand Your Risk For Cardiac Arrest

 

 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

 


Recent Article

DIGITAL DETOX : Disconnect to Reconnect

DIGITAL DETOX : Disconnect to Reconnect

Breast Cancer The leader of lethal diseases amongst women

Breast Cancer The leader of lethal diseases amongst women

6 Simple exercises to do in office

6 Simple exercises to do in office

Zika Virus: All You Need to Know

Zika Virus: All You Need to Know

6 Reasons You Should Start Eating Food Rich in Probiotics

6 Reasons You Should Start Eating Food Rich in Probiotics

6 Herbal Teas That are Beneficial for Your Health

6 Herbal Teas That are Beneficial for Your Health

Dark Chocolates for Health

Dark Chocolates for Health

Relieve Tired and Strained Eyes With 5 Simple Tips

Relieve Tired and Strained Eyes With 5 Simple Tips

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

7 Things to Know About Nipah Virus

7 Things to Know About Nipah Virus

Right to Die with Dignity

Right to Die with Dignity

Women and Heart Diseases

Women and Heart Diseases

Facts You Need To Know About Asthma

Facts You Need To Know About Asthma

Natural Ways to Boost Your Immunity This Winter

Natural Ways to Boost Your Immunity This Winter

5 Tips to Avoid Back Pain at Workplace

5 Tips to Avoid Back Pain at Workplace


    Comment: