EXPLANATED The difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack

New Dilli: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, with an estimated 17.9 million deaths worldwide in 2019. These deaths accounted for 32 percent of all deaths worldwide. Of these, 85 percent were caused by heart attack and stroke.

“Cardiac arrest” and “heart attack” are two different heart diseases. Although not the same, the terms are often used interchangeably.

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops the flow of blood to the heart, while cardiac arrest is caused by a failure of the heart’s electrical system, according to the American Heart Association.

What is the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest?

The death of muscle tissue due to loss of blood supply is called a heart attack. This is a “circulation” problem. When a clogged artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a part of the heart, a heart attack occurs.

If a blocked artery does not reopen quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery will begin to die, and the longer a person is untreated, the greater the damage.

Blood supply to the heart muscle may be interrupted due to a clot in one of the coronary arteries. The heart still pumps blood around the body during a heart attack and the person will be conscious and breathing.

In case of cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating properly. In other words, the pumping function of the heart is “stopped” or stopped. Cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.

An electrical disorder in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia can cause cardiac arrest. Due to the fact that the pumping activity of the heart is disrupted, the organ cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs, as a result of which a person loses consciousness a few seconds later and has no pulse. Cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning.

If the right steps are not taken immediately after cardiac arrest, they may die. CPR can be performed to reverse cardiac arrest and the defibrillator can be used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within minutes.

Nevertheless, cardiac arrest and heart attacks may be associated. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack or during recovery, according to the American Heart Association.

Although heart attacks increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, most heart attacks do not lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

However, a heart attack is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest. Other terrestrial conditions that can disrupt the heart rhythm and lead to sudden cardiac arrest include cardiac muscle thickening (cardiomyopathy), heart failure, and arrhythmias, especially ventricular fibrillation, a type of abnormal heart rhythm characterized by lower ventricular twitching. As a result, the heart does not pump blood to the rest of the body.

If a person has a heart attack, a random passer-by should dial a local emergency number and seek medical attention. While waiting for urgent help, a person who has had a heart attack must chew and swallow aspirin, as it helps prevent blood clotting and can reduce heart damage.

If unconscious, CPR should be performed by a random person. An automatic external defibrillator can also be used.

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