Cardiac arrest is the sudden downfall of the functioning of the heart for a person who may not or may have experienced heart-related diseases. It can occur at any instance and is often fatal in cases where immediate action is not taken at the right time.

In other words, cardiac arrest is a state when your heart abruptly stops supplying blood which may result in a lack of oxygen supply to your brain. This leads to the state of the unconscious and even death at times. A cardiac arrest may normally occur without any prior symptoms. The immediate signs when a person is suffering from cardiac arrest are very few such as becoming unconscious, being unresponsive, and suffocation in breathing. If proper medical attention is not provided during a cardiac arrest, the victim may even be pushed to death.

Is there any difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack?

Yes. There is a huge difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack. In many cases, where people are not aware of this difference will describe the cardiac arrest as a heart attack or vice versa by mistake. A heart attack may be one of the causes of cardiac arrest; however, the two things aren’t the same.

Heart attacks are the sudden blocks that happen to stop the flow of blood to the heart. The muscle tissues of the heart become dead due to the lack of blood supply to the heart. In general, we can refer to the term “heart attack” as a circulation problem of blood to the heart. A heart attack is equally serious to a cardiac arrest and may even lead to death at times.

Cardiac arrest usually occurs when the functioning of the heart stops abruptly. The heartbeat slows down gradually and gets arrested or stopped at some point. The chances of death are more common in cardiac arrest than in heart attack.

Symptoms of a cardiac arrest

  • Absence of pulse and breathing
  • Unconscious state
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness

Immediate action for a cardiac arrest

  • Shout for help from people around you to call police or an emergency service number. Try to get an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on an urgent basis
  • Check the breathing condition of the person suffering from cardiac arrest and give CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) which is a life-saving procedure
  • During CPR, push down the center of the chest of that person for at least 2 inches at a rate of 110 to 115 pushes per minute
  • Turn on the AED as soon as it has arrived and followed the step by step procedures to check for an effective heart’s rhythm for that person
  • Make sure to continue CPR until the person gets back to normal breathing condition and try to clear the crowd around the treated person for a free-flow of oxygen

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