Cardiac arrest vs. heart attack( Question and Answer)
Q. When my grandfather was in his mid-70s, he suffered a heart attack but survived and lived to the age of 93. My father had heart disease as well, however, he died of a heart attack at the age of 67. How is a heart attack distinguished from a cardiac arrest?
A. These two names frequently cause confusion because they are frequently used interchangeably. However, a heart attack and cardiac arrest are not synonymous.
A heart attack is a circulatory condition caused by a clogged artery that prevents blood from reaching a portion of the heart muscle. Without reopening the artery and restoring blood flow, the cardiac cells supplied by that artery begin to die. Intense discomfort in the middle of the chest or other sections of the upper body, dyspnea, perspiration, and nausea are all possible symptoms. However, the heart continues to beat and the individual stays conscious.
By contrast, cardiac arrest is most frequently caused by an electrical issue that causes the heart to cease beating suddenly. Ventricular fibrillation occurs when the heart's bottom chambers (ventricles) flutter or quiver as a result of an electrical misfire (v-fib). A person suffering from cardiac arrest collapses or faints quickly, ceases breathing regularly, and is unable to be awakened. Additionally, irregular, strange gasping or choking sounds (referred to as agonal respiration) and jerking muscles may occur.
The majority of heart attacks do not result in cardiac arrest. When cardiac arrest does occur, it is frequently the result of a heart attack. Occasionally, during a heart attack, the oxygen-deprived heart muscle produces v-fib. Also, Scar tissue leftover following a heart attack can potentially cause harm to the heart, preventing it from pumping adequately. V-fib is more likely to occur in a weaker heart.
Due to the strong association between cardiac arrest and coronary artery disease (the primary cause of heart attacks), the underlying risks are basically identical. These include smoking, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, inactivity, obesity, and hypertension, as well as a family history of early heart disease.
Other heart illnesses that can predispose persons to cardiac arrest include weakened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), heart valve abnormalities, and genetic heart electrical system disorders such as long QT syndrome. Certain drug usage also raises the risk, most notably when cocaine or amphetamines are used, or when opioids or other pain medications overdose.
Finally, the risk of cardiac arrest increases somewhat during and up to 30 minutes following vigorous exercise, particularly in physically inactive individuals. However, the risk is predicted to be one in 1.5 million during any given activity episode, which is significantly outweighed by exercise's overall heart-protective advantages.
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