Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack: The Difference You Need to Know

Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack: The Difference You Need to Know

You might have heard the terms “cardiac arrest” and “heart attack” used interchangeably, but they are actually two very different conditions. Knowing the difference could save your life or the life of someone you love.

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that occurs when the heart stops beating. This can be caused by many things, including a heart attack. Heart attacks can cause cardiac arrest, but they are not the only cause.

If you experience cardiac arrest, you will lose consciousness and stop breathing. If you don’t receive CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) within a few minutes, you will die.

Heart attacks are a common form of cardiac arrest, but there are many other causes. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms that worry you, it’s important to get help right away. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your chances of survival will be.

The Difference Between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack

When it comes to cardiac arrest vs. heart attack, there’s a big difference. A heart attack is a blockage in one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. This blockage can be caused by a variety of things, like a build-up of cholesterol plaque, or a blood clot.

A cardiac arrest, on the other hand, is an electrical disturbance in the heart that causes the heart to stop beating. This can happen for a number of reasons, like a heart attack, an arrhythmia, or a sudden spike in potassium levels.

So what’s the difference? A heart attack is a problem with the blood flow to the heart muscle, while cardiac arrest is a problem with the electrical function of the heart muscle.


If someone is experiencing a heart attack, time is of the essence. You need to get them to the hospital as quickly as possible so they can receive treatment.

But what if it’s a cardiac arrest? What if the heart has stopped beating? In that case, you need to call 911 and start CPR. Because there’s a good chance that person isn’t going to make it unless you start CPR immediately.

So what’s the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest? A heart attack is when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating altogether.


Preventing any cardiac disease can be very simple and similar. The only possible way to prevent heart problems is to make changes to your lifestyle. Following are a few you can practice easily. 

  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle: sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of heart disease. What you can do is bring changes to your routine and add a few more stairs and walking activities to your everyday routine. 
  • Quit smoking: if you are a smoker, stop it right away. Your heart and lungs suffer the most from your smoking because of all the toxins added to them by breathing in bad air. This makes your heart health go down in only a few months increasing the risks of heart attacks and cardiac arrests. 
  • Reduce cholesterol intake: if anything in your diet can kill you in small duration, it is cholesterol. If you do not manage to amount of fats you are taking in, your heart can stop beating. This can be due to the thickness of blood, increased blood pressure, some thrombus formation, or just due to disturbed circulation. 

Consult a doctor 

If you think that you are getting shortness of breath on doing minor tasks, or that you are showing any early symptoms of heart disease, consult a cardiologist right away.

If you are looking for a trusted doctor, you can find the best cardiologist in Karachi or the best cardiologist in Islamabad at oladoc. 



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