Are Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack the same?

Did you know that the word ‘same’ and ‘similar’ do not have ‘same’ meaning? Well there are many words we tend to use at wrong places thinking they suit there quite well. In the same way, cardiac arrest is many a times wrongly used in place of heart attack. People have the habit of using such words interchangeable, but they are not synonyms. In case of a heart attack, the blood flow to the heart is blocked. And a cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. Doctors describe a heart attack as a circulation problem whereas a cardiac arrest is described as an electrical problem.

During a heart attack, the blocked artery prevents the flow of oxygen from the blood to the heart. If this blocked artery is not unblocked soon, the heart which is well-fed by the artery will start to die. And like we know, the longer the person goes without any treatment the bigger the damage.

A cardiac arrest happens extreme suddenly, like out of the blue. It occurs due an electrical malfunction in the heart that results into irregular heartbeats. As the blood pumping course is disturbed, the process of heart pumping blood to the lungs, brain and other organs gets disorientated. And within seconds, the person faints and has no pulse. There is then no signs of breathing or movement.

However, these two different heart conditions are some how linked. A cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack. Whereas, a heart attack increases the risk for a cardiac arrest. Many of the heart attacks do not lead to cardiac arrest. But when a cardiac arrest takes place, heart attack is a common cause.
Just in case either of the above, heart attack or cardiac arrest takes place, simply perform a ‘hands only CPR’ to the beat of the classic disco song ‘Stayin Alive.’