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What Is The Difference Between Heart Attack And Cardiac Arrest?


Medical jargons are perhaps the most confusing ones, so, people from non-medical backgrounds are bound to get confused One such example is that of heart attack and cardiac arrest.

Often times, the two are used interchangeably and considered to be synonyms. However, that is not the case. Heart attack and cardiac arrest are two medical procedures that are quite different from each other.

So, you might be thinking what is the difference between them?

To understand their difference, we have to first learn what happens in both.

What happens during a Heart Attack?

Heart attacks happen when blood flow to part of the heart stops.

This usually happens when the arteries supplying blood to the heart become blocked. When this happens, the supply of blood to the heart is reduced or stopped completely. As a result, the heart muscle begins to die.

This may also lead to death if proper treatment or medication is not taken.

What happens during Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrests occur when the electrical system of the heart fails. The result is that the heart is unable to pump oxygenated blood to the brain, lungs, or other organs when its pumping activity is interfered with.

If someone has a cardiac arrest, they lose consciousness and have no pulse. A person having a cardiac arrest is at a higher risk as they can die within minutes unless they receive CPR or other emergency treatment.

What is the difference between a Heart Attack and a Cardiac Arrest?

•A heart attack happens when a blocked artery prevents blood from reaching a part of the heart, whereas, a cardiac arrest happens when the electrical system of the heart fails.

•During a heart attack, the heart muscle is deprived of its essential blood flow, on the other hand, during a cardiac arrest, a person's heart stops circulating blood throughout the body including the brain.

•Heart attacks increase the risk of cardiac arrest, which is more fatal. This is due to the possibility that someone undergoing a heart attack could develop a risky heart rhythm that could result in cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest:

Below are the symptoms of a heart attack:

•Chest pain

•Shortness of breath

•Coughing and wheezing

•Light-headedness or dizziness