Which of These Cardiac Problems Are More Dangerous a Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest?
Most people outside of the medical industry believe the terms heart attack and cardiac arrest describe the same thing, but they don’t. These terms actually describe two very different medical problems. Understanding the difference between these cardiac problems could help you save a life.
Think of Cardiac Arrest as "The Big One"
"The Big One" is often a term used by many people to describe extremely serious heart attacks. However, that term is actually better used for cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest occurs when an electrical malfunction in the body causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. The minute the heart stops beating the body is unable to supply blood to the lungs, brain, and other organs. Without access to blood these organs will quickly shut down and death can occur in a matter of minutes.
The problem with cardiac arrest is there are rarely symptoms to indicate this problem is likely to occur. The only way to tell a person is experiencing this cardiac problem is because they suddenly collapse, stop breathing, and have no pulse.
Heart Attacks are More a Circulation Problem
While cardiac arrest is caused by a disruption in the "electrical" a system of your heart, a heart attack is caused by a problem with your circulation.
Small arteries branch out from all around your heart. These arteries help supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Occasionally, the arteries will become blocked. When this happens the blood cannot get to the heart. If the artery is not cleared in a timely manner, the heart will become damaged and a number of problems can occur.
There are a number of signs and symptoms that indicate you may be experiencing a heart attack. Signs of a heart attack include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Numbness in the upper body
Which is More Serious?
Both cardiac arrest and heart attack are extremely serious and require immediate medical attention. However, cardiac arrest is the more serious of the two. In fact, cardiac arrest can turn fatal if treatment is not administered within a few minutes.
If you suspect someone is experiencing a heart attack or cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 immediately. This will allow the individual to get prompt medical attention that could save their life.
Reduce Your Risk of Experiencing a Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest by Scheduling an Appointment with an Experienced Cardiology Physician
You can reduce your risk of experiencing a heart attack or cardiac arrest by getting proper treatment for a number of cardiac problems and heart disease. Schedule an appointment with an experienced cardiology physician at Tri-City Cardiology to discuss how your heart disease or cardiac problems should be treated.