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Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack: What Are the Differences?

Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack: What Are the Differences?

Are you worried you’re going to suffer a heart attack? That harrowing thought is one we want to rule out. But there’s another scenario that also withholds itself as something we can’t afford to contemplate.

Cardiac arrest isn’t something that happens to other people. It’s a real possibility for us.

But are you clear on the differences between cardiac arrest vs. heart attack? If you aren’t, that’s why we’ve written this helpful guide. Delve into our guide to understand the differences between a heart attack vs. cardiac arrest.

Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack, What Are They?

Heart Attack

A heart attack happens when a part of the heart muscle dies due to oxygen shortage. It usually occurs when one or more coronary arteries are congested, preventing blood from reaching the heart. Heart attacks can cause significant damage to the heart and even be fatal.

Cardiac Arrest

In the medical field, cardiac arrest is when the heart stops supplying blood throughout the body. When blood flows, the body and brain cannot get the oxygen they need. It can be caused by many things, including a heart attack, electrocution, or drowning.

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, their blood pressure drops, and they may lose consciousness. If not treated immediately, cardiac arrest can lead to death.


There are many heart attack symptoms, but chest pain is the most common and noticeable symptom. This pain can range from a dull ache to sharp, excruciating pain. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness.

The symptoms of cardiac arrest are like a heart attack, but the person will also lose consciousness and not have a pulse. Symptoms of cardiac arrest can include sudden collapse, no pulse, and no breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately, as they may state a life-threatening condition.


The most important thing to do if someone goes into cardiac arrest is to call for emergency medical help immediately and begin CPR. Early intervention is critical in cardiac arrest cases, as is using an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. While CPR and AEDs can save lives, the best chance for survival is to get to a hospital as fast as possible.

If you have a heart attack, you will usually be treated with oxygen, aspirin, and a nitroglycerin tablet. You may also give a beta blocker to help improve your blood flow and decrease your heart rate.

If you have a more severe heart attack, you may need to be treated with clot-busting drugs or angioplasty. Also, read types of atrial fibrillation to prevent both diseases.

Know Them Both

Cardiac arrest vs. heart attack is two very different conditions. Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating, while a heart attack is when the blood supply to the heart is blocked. Both can be life-threatening, but knowing the difference can help you get the proper treatment.

If you are unsure whether someone is having a heart attack or cardiac arrest, the best thing to do is to call 911. The emergency medical personnel will be able to assess the situation and provide the appropriate treatment.

If you think this article was helpful, read our blogs for more information!

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