While most of us know about the dangers of cardiac arrests, we often find it difficult to differentiate it from a heart attack. Both are life-threatening and can be fatal. Hence, it’s important to be informed about what to look out for before a cardiac arrest or heart attack is about to happen and how they can be prevented.
Cardiac arrests can occur suddenly without any sort of warning. They are triggered by the electrical malfunctioning in the heart that causes the heart to beat irregularly. A cardiac arrest occurs because of rapid heartbeat called the Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibrillation but at times can be due to extreme slowing of the heart rate, which ultimately leads to the stopping of the heartbeat.
As for how they are caused, it is usually heart-related. Cardiac arrests can be due to a coronary heart disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, valve problems and an abnormal heart rhythm. But it can be unrelated to heart diseases too as it can also be caused by electrocution, drug overdose, severe haemorrhage, losing a large amount of blood and drowning.
Sudden cardiac arrest symptoms are immediate and drastic with sudden collapse, no pulse, no breathing and loss of consciousness. Other signs also include blackouts, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, palpitations, fatigue or vomiting.
Often considered the same, heart attack and cardiac arrest are two separate circumstances. The former is one of the many factors that can cause a cardiac arrest. When it comes to a heart attack, the patient’s heart loses the ability to pump blood only partially and continues with lower efficiency allowing the first hour for medical aid. But during a cardiac arrest, the heart stops functioning owing to issues in the electrical system of the heart that disrupts the pumping ability.
This results in the ceasing of blood flow to the brain and other body parts, hence the person needs medical assistance even before an hour. So, the golden minutes become very decisive in a cardiac arrest that demands quick action and can occur without warning.