Heart Attacks and Cardiac Arrest: What’s the Difference?

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Know the Difference Between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

If you want to protect yourself or someone you love, then it’s crucial you know the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest, and know what symptoms to look for.

Everyone knows that any complication when it comes to your heart and your cardiovascular health is scary and really dangerous. But most people use the terms cardiac arrest and heart attack interchangeably, which isn’t accurate and could be a deadly mistake. 

First of all, it’s important to know that a heart attack and cardiac arrest can often happen independently, meaning you can have one without the other.

So, what’s the Difference Between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest?

The easiest way to think about it is that one health issue is a plumbing problem and the other is an electrical issue. If your pipes are clogged, causing your toilet to overflow, it’s a plumbing issue. If your power goes out and your bathroom is not usable, it’s an electrical problem. And for your heart to function properly, you need both effective plumbing and the required power.

According to the American Heart Association, “a heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly.” A heart attack occurs when your heart is not receiving blood properly because of issues with your arteries and veins, and cardiac arrest happens when your heart malfunctions and stops working to pump blood throughout your body.

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