What is the Difference Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack?

What is the Difference Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack?

January 18, 2021

You have probably heard the terms sudden cardiac arrest and heart attack used often. You read an article online, you watch the news, you have a conversation with your friend, and these terms tend to pop up and get used interchangeably.  

Did you know that sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack are NOT the same thing? In fact, they are very different.

What is a Heart Attack?

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, a heart attack is a plumbing problem. Someone suffering a heart attack can be responsive and their heart can still be beating.
 

The Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

• Chest discomfort that feels like pressure or squeezing
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms
• Pain or discomfort in the shoulder or upper back
• Pain or discomfort in the neck or jaw
• Shortness of breath
• Nausea
• Sweating, especially breaking out into a cold sweat
• Lightheadedness
 

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Here are some additional signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women:
• Stomach or abdominal pain
• Weakness
• Fatigue
• Swelling of the ankles of lower legs
 

How Do You Help Someone Having a Heart Attack?

So, what do you do if you witness someone experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack? How do you help them? If you suspect someone is having a heart attack take the following steps:
• Call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone is having a heart attack
• Encourage the person to rest or lie down while waiting for EMS
• Monitor the person and make sure they are responsive and breathing
• Do not drive the person to the hospital! Let EMS arrive and take them in the ambulance.

Heart attacks can get very bad, very quickly. If the person does go unresponsive and stops breathing start CPR immediately and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) as soon as possible.
 

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?


According to The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest, they are unresponsive and their heart stops beating immediately. When a person’s heart stops beating, blood is no longer pumping throughout the body to the vital organs including the brain. Immediate treatment is crucial for survival.
 

The Signs and Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Here are some signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest:
• Suddenly passing out or collapsing
• Unresponsiveness
• Agonal breathing which sounds like a snort, a snore, a groan, or gasping
• 10-20 seconds of seizing
 

How Do You Help Someone Going into Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

So, what do you do if you witness someone go into sudden cardiac arrest? How do you help them? If you suspect someone is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, take the following steps:
• Call 9-1-1
• Immediately start performing CPR (100-120 chest compressions per minute)
• Use an AED as soon as possible.

It is very important to act immediately if someone is suffering sudden cardiac arrest. Every second that goes by without treatment hurts the person’s chances of survival.

To learn more about Defibtech and to join us on our quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, visit www.Defibtech.com.

Sources:
https://www.sca-aware.org/about-sudden-cardiac-arrest/sca-or-heart-attack#:~:text=Sudden%20Cardiac%20Arrest%20(SCA)%20is,the%20heart%20from%20functioning%20effectively.