We say health is wealth, we always encourage healthier living, but still, we aren’t skilled enough to diagnose and distinguish different health ailments/diseases that we acquire. We often unknowingly speculate headaches as migraines, fevers as viral fevers, wheezing problems as asthma, lung cancer as pneumonia and many more. When we misdiagnose a particular medical condition, we totally collapse its treatment and let the disease aggravate. Hence, it is substantial to be cognizant of the various medical conditions.
How many of us knew that cardiac arrests and heart attacks weren’t the same? A very few, I guess. To the people weren’t aware, this article is for you.
- Due to certain electrical disturbances (an unusual life-threatening heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation) in the heart, the heart function is abruptly disrupted and eventually, the heart stops to pump the blood. This leads to unconsciousness, breathlessness, and sometimes death.
- The signs of a cardiac arrest include loss of consciousness, breathlessness, no pulse, and sudden collapse. Sometimes chest discomfort, palpitations, shortness of breath, fainting and dizziness could also be warning signs.
- A cardiac arrest might be caused due to various heart-related problems such as heart attack, coronary heart disease, heart valve disease, congenital heart disease, acute myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, and long QT syndrome. Some other causes of cardiac arrests include drug overdose, electrocution, and severe hemorrhage.
- When someone witnesses a cardiac arrest, it indicates a medical emergency. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will enable the circulation of oxygen around the body until a defibrillator is used to correct the ventricular fibrillation by rendering an electric shock.
- The flow of blood to the heart is blocked mainly due to a build-up of cholesterol, fat and other substances that form a plaque in the coronary arteries. The plaque eventually breaks and forms a clot that interrupts the blood flow or damages a part of the heart muscle. This results in a heart attack/myocardial infarction.
- Common risk factors of a heart attack include age, smoking, family history of heart attacks, stress, diabetes, and obesity.
- Some common symptoms include chest pain, angina ( pressure caused by temporary reduction in the blood flow) fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, aching sensation or pain in the arms, back, and jaw, digestion problems, nausea, abdominal pain, and heartburn (though the symptoms differ from one person to another).
- If we experience any of the above symptoms, CPR should be done to keep the blood flowing. It is recommended to push hard and fast on the individual’s chest in a fairly rapid rhythm (about 100 to 120 compressions a minute). Medications along with lifestyle changes would enable one to get back to normal life.
The above information on cardiac arrests and heart attacks would have shed some light on understanding these medical conditions. Basically, cardiac arrest is an electrical problem whereas a heart attack is a circulation problem. But why are these two medical terms often confused? Because heart attacks increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrests. Sometimes, cardiac arrests might occur due to a heart attack (a common cause of cardiac arrests) but cardiac arrests can also be caused due to other cardiac issues.
“It is never too late to take your heart health seriously and make it a priority”- Jennie Garth