Difference between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack

Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The sudden death of Sushma Swaraj has shocked everyone as, she had a cardiac arrest with no heart problem history. Many people thinks that heart attack and cardiac arrest are  same things, but only few know the difference.  Read on to know more about them

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 is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.

Although they both are an emergency situations but symptoms of a heart attack are immediate and intense. Though, mostly symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. But, with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually stops beating.


Heart Attack

The main symptoms of heart attack are chest pain, including a squeezing along with pain in one or both arms, jaw, back, stomach or neck,  shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and light headedness .  Women often have more chances than men to experience heart attack.  Some women with heart attacks may experience other symptoms, like Lightheadedness, Nausea, Extreme fatigue, Fainting, Dizziness, or Pressure in the upper back.

Cardiac Arrest

Symptoms of a sudden cardiac arrest are immediate and severe which include, sudden collapse with no pulse breathing and loss of consciousness.

Although sudden cardiac arrest arises with no warning. But, sometimes other signs and symptoms lead to sudden cardiac arrest which may include fatigue, fainting, blackouts, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations or vomiting.


Cardiac Arrest: Begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive

How Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack are connected

These two different heart conditions are linked with each other as, Sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack as it increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Most heart attacks do not lead to sudden cardiac arrest. But when sudden cardiac arrest arises, heart attack is a common cause. Other heart conditions may also interrupt the heart’s rhythm and lead to sudden cardiac arrest.

So, if you ever get any symptoms for such problem then, you should not think twice and immediately call the emergency because life is very precious.