A heart attack and cardiac arrest are two serious and potentially life-threatening conditions that affect the heart. While they may sound similar, they are actually quite different and require different treatments.
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked, typically by a blood clot. This can cause damage to the heart muscle and may lead to serious complications, such as heart failure. A heart attack is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment, such as medications to dissolve the blood clot or procedures to open the blocked artery.
On the other hand, cardiac arrest is a sudden loss of heart function. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as a heart attack, a heart rhythm disorder, or a respiratory problem. During cardiac arrest, the heart is unable to pump blood to the body, and the person will lose consciousness and may stop breathing. Cardiac arrest is also a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment, such as CPR and defibrillation to restore the heart's normal rhythm.
Knowing the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest symptoms can be crucial in getting the right treatment quickly. Both conditions are serious and require immediate medical attention, but they have different causes and require different treatments.
Heart attack symptoms may include:
- Chest pain or discomfort, which may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain
- Pain or discomfort in other areas of the body, such as the neck, jaw, back, or arms
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Chest discomfort that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
Cardiac arrest symptoms may include:
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- No pulse or breathing
- Chest discomfort, although this is not always present
If you or someone you are with experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away, and describe the symptoms to the operator. They will provide instructions on what to do next.
In summary, heart attack and cardiac arrest are two different conditions that require different treatments. Knowing the symptoms of each can help you get the right treatment quickly, which can save lives. If you are unsure whether someone is experiencing a heart attack or cardiac arrest, call 911 and follow the instructions provided.