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What’s the Difference Between Heart Attacks and Cardiac Arrest?

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Kirby Medical Center

Heart Attack Vs. Cardiac Arrest

Chest Pain

While these two terms are often used interchangeably, they are actually completely different cardiac events with different causes and symptoms. The health experts at Kirby Medical Center are here to set the record straight.

Heart Attack

A heart attack happens when the blood flow that delivers oxygen to your heart is obstructed, causing it to be reduced significantly or cut off completely. Though coronary artery disease is the most common cause of heart attacks, it can also be brought on by a sudden spasm of the coronary artery.

The most common signs and symptoms that suggest a heart attack include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Feeling weak or faint
  • Pain or discomfort in the jack, neck, or upper back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms
  • Shortness of breath

If you suspect that you or someone around you is having a heart attack, dial 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of a heart attack, it is vital that you act fast as the more time passes without treatment, the more damage can happen to the heart.

Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest is an electrical issue that happens when the heart malfunctions and stops beating abruptly and unexpectedly. The most common signs and symptoms that suggest someone is going into cardiac arrest include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Gasping for air
  • Collapsing or fainting
  • Unresponsiveness

If you suspect that someone around you is going into cardiac arrest, it is important that you act quickly as death can happen within minutes without intervention. First, dial 9-1-1 to request emergency medical services. Begin performing CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency services arrive.

Contact Kirby Medical Center

At Kirby Medical Center, we are dedicated to helping our community learn how to stay healthy and safe. If you are concerned about your health risks and the types of vaccines that are right for you, contact Kirby Medical Center at 217-762-2115 to learn more about how we can assist with all your healthcare needs.