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Is it a HEART ATTACK or CARDIAC ARREST? - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Did you know that there is a big difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest? The major difference is that HEART ATTACK is a blood flow problem and CARDIAC ARREST is an electrical problem. Both conditions can be deadly, but they are caused by (and treated with) different things.

What is a heart attack?

The heart muscle gets its blood supply from little coronary arteries. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow through one or more of these coronary arteries is blocked. A person having a heart attack often will feel crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness/faintness, and have cold sweats. The symptoms may occur over minutes to hours. Importantly, the heart usually keeps beating (though maybe abnormally). In other words, many people experiencing a heart attack will have a pulse.

What is a cardiac arrest?

Electrical impulses pulses move across the heart, causing the heart to contract. This coordinated contraction pumps blood through the arteries to the tissues. An abnormality in the electrical conduction is a cardiac arrhythmia or abnormal/irregular heartbeat. When a cardiac arrhythmia prevents the heart from pumping blood to the body, it is a cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest happens suddenly and dramatically. A person in cardiac arrest will be unresponsive and will usually stop breathing (or just gasp ineffectively). A cardiac arrest can be lethal within a matter of minutes if person does not receive CPR and/or cardiac defibrillation.

For more information visit: HTTPS://www.aclsmedicaltraining.com/is-it-a-heart-attack-or-cardiac-arrest/


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