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Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Differences

Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Differences

Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Differences

From time to time, people use the terms heart attack and cardiac arrest reciprocally, but they have different meanings. Typically, a heart attack is a condition in your heart when blood is blocked. On the other hand, cardiac arrest occurs when the heart functions abnormally and is triggered to stop pumping. Thus, a heart attack can be termed a problem with blood circulation, while a cardiac arrest is a shock problem. Luckily, with our CPR certification, we always value educating you. Therefore, we've decided to help you better understand the differences between heart attack and cardiac arrest. Keep reading!

Heart Attack: Definition, Causes, and Symptoms

Your heart requires constant oxygenated blood like any other muscle body. The coronary arteries act as a passway for blood. When these arteries get blocked with blood clots and plaque, parts of your heart muscle begin to atrophy and later die. In case your heart is loaded with excess blood, a heart attack may occur. You can assist someone with a heart attack problem by performing a Quick CPR before medics arrive. If the condition worsens, a specialist with a CPR certification can help with an ACLS.


Coronary artery disease caused by atherosclerosis is the leading cause of a heart attack. This occurs due to the accumulation of fats within the artery's walls. Heart attacks occur when these deposits rupture due to blood clots that develop due to these raptures.

In other cases, a heart attack may occur due to severe emotional stress, abstaining from alcohol and drugs, medical treatments that narrow the blood vessels, icy conditions, and consumption of stimulants such as methamphetamines or cocaine.


The most common early heart attack symptoms are nausea and vomiting, pain in the shoulders, jaws, and neck, mild frequent chest discomfort, sweating, and severe anxiety. In worst cases, a heart attack can lead to diabetes which has symptoms of sleep disturbance and fatigue, calm skin, abdominal pain and heartburn, and shortness of breath.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Definition, Causes, and Symptoms

A sudden cardiac arrest triggers your heart to stop beating. If this happens, you may collapse, lose consciousness, and die within a few minutes when there is no treatment. If you notice someone with a cardiac attack, always call 911 for emergency response. Later, perform Quick CPR to increase the chances of the victim's survival. The specialists may later perform ACLS to save the patient.


Cardiac arrest is a problem caused by an electrical problem. Your heart has an electrical system that aids muscle contraction when pumping blood. Malfunctions of this system make your heart stop beating and suffocate from lack of oxygen. In addition, other causes of cardiac attack are respiratory attack, electrocution, heart attack, choking or drowning, drug overuse, coronary heart disease, and hypothermia.


Cardiac arrest is associated with sudden unconsciousness with no breathing and heartbeat. Warning signs may include nausea, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and heart palpitations.

Become a Live Saver!

Cardiac arrest and heart attack are different but connected. However, it is essential to understand their symptoms and possible causes. You can be of significant contribution to your society! Learn about Quick CPR and acquire CPR certification to become a life saver! Contact us today for more information.