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Difference Between a heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

Posted On: Aug 31, 2021

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Cardiology Hospital in Whitefield

It’s not always romantic or an indication of being in love when the heart beats faster. One of the most meticulously working muscle groups in the body, the fist-sized heart is known to beat over 1,15,000 times and pump over 2,000 gallons of blood in a single day. Lifestyle changes coupled with increased stress and non-communicable health disorders such as hypertension, obesity or, diabetes can lead to a considerably high incidence of heart problems, irrespective of gender and age. While it may begin with a simple diagnosis of complaints of breathlessness, chest pain, and blockage in the arteries, people are known to suffer from either Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack most of the time.  It is, however, important to understand the difference between both the terms before using them interchangeably, as they are starkly diverse conditions.   

Difference Between Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

Of the many heart ailments that are known to affect people globally, a heart attack is the most common. It is known to affect 10 million people approximately in our country every year.  We may suffer from a heart attack when there is a blockage in the blood flow to the heart owing to fat and plaque build-up in the coronary arteries. As a result of this interrupted blood flow, part of the heart muscle is damaged or destroyed. It is advised to visit Manipal for the best heart attack treatment in Whitefield.

In contrast, a cardiac arrest is sudden, resulting in unforeseen loss of heart function. A cardiac arrest takes place as a result of disturbances in the heart disrupting the pumping action, thus stopping the supply of blood to the other parts of the body.  Reportedly, India witnesses close to 1 million cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest every year.  

Simply put, a heart attack is more of a blood circulation problem while a cardiac arrest is an electrical problem. It must, however, be noted that a heart attack can, at times, lead to a sudden cardiac arrest. You must consult with the best cardiologist in Whitefield to know more about the differences.

Understanding the symptoms and underlying causes 

The coronary arteries become narrow when there is a build-up of cholesterol and fat over a period of time. These clogged arteries cause a heart attack when the deposited plaques tend to rupture and spill within the bloodstream. As a result of the rupture, a blood clot can form and if the same is large, it can lead to blocking the blood flow through the coronary artery.  Additionally, tobacco and other illicit drugs can cause spasms, resulting in tearing of the coronary artery.  Be aware of symptoms such as pain and tightness, or pressure in your chest or arms, which you may feel spreading to the back, neck or, jaw. Few other symptoms include nausea, cold sweat, shortness of breath, light-headedness, and fatigue.  

Any abnormality with the heart’s electrical system indicates a health problem leading to cardiac arrest. Quite independent by nature, the heart uses its own electrical stimulators unlike the other muscles of the body mostly relying on nerve connections. The electrical stimulators or sinus nodes are specialized cells and are located at the upper right chamber of the heart.  Electrical impulses are generated by the sinus nodes that aid in the functioning of the heart normally and then help pump blood to the other parts of the body. Whenever there is a malfunction in such sinus nodes, it can result in arrhythmia and can cause the heart to beat faster or slower than usual or irregularly. This malfunctioning can lead to suddenly stopping in the heart function due to ventricular fibrillation, a condition when sudden electric impulses make the ventricles shudder without pumping blood.  Such conditions may occur due to external factors like an electric shock, or trauma, or consumption of illicit drugs.  

Ways to prevent  

Preventing a heart problem and ultimately a heart attack or a cardiac arrest can be done by making simple lifestyle changes like keeping a regular check on the blood pressure and sugar levels, lipid profiles, etc. Turning a sedentary lifestyle into an active one by eating healthy, exercising for at least 30-45 mins every day, managing stress, and consuming less alcohol, and lastly, quit smoking can help. Identifying and reporting noticeable symptoms of heart attack or cardiac arrest, be trained in CPR and other first-aid methods, and arranging for immediate medical intervention can help not your family and friends but the community as a whole as well. 

Looking for the Cardiologist in Whitefield, Bangalore then book an appointment with Manipal Hospital where you will get the best treatment and care in the best Cardiology Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore.

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