HOME > Cardiac Arrest > Difference Between Heart Attack & Cardiac Arrest?

Heart attack is a plumbing issue where the main coronary circulation is affected. The ECG finding seen is ST elevation. Main treatment is percutaneous coronary intervention where a balloon is used to dislodge the thrombus in coronary artery.

Cardiac arrest is an electrical issue where the pacemaker of heart is malfunctioning. The ECG finding seen is a flat line.  Intravenous adrenaline is used to restart the pacemaker. Dc shock does not work here.

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Sample the notes with crisp to the point information that really matters to reduce the clutter on the table. Medical science has to be precise and concise and not a pile work of hard to remember facts and that is our motto.


Heart talks are everywhere. It is commonly believed by people that emotions arise from their heart, maybe because the heart beats faster when a person is excited or anxious. But the truth is that emotions arise from the brain, and its brain that tells the heart to speed up. So, what’s the heart up to then?

The heart is actually a muscular organ located in the midline of the thoracic cavity, sending blood all around the body supplying oxygen and nutrients to all body parts.

How heart pumps blood?

The heart is divided into two pumping systems; right and left pumping systems out of which the right side receives the oxygen-deficient blood from veins and pumps it into the lungs, where it takes the oxygen along with it and throws out the carbon dioxide.

The left side of the heart receives the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pump it through the arteries to the rest of the body parts.

A heart attack and cardiac arrest are both different conditions.

Heart attack is a situation when one of the coronary artery blocks. The heart muscle is robbed of its vital blood supply from the coronary artery. And if it is left untreated, and the blocked artery is not opened quickly, the heart will begin to die because it is not getting enough oxygen.

Symptoms which people may experience-

  • Sudden and intense chest pain may arise.
  • Pain may persist in between the areas of shoulder blades, left arm, chest, and jaw.
  • People may feel dizziness, fatigue, cold sweating before few weeks of the attack.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms may also be seen like heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Very commonly anxiety, shortness of breath, abnormal heartbeat, and palpitations may also be seen.


Treating heart attack-

  • Aspirin may be given at once to stop the clotting of blood.
  • Thrombolytic therapy is then given to dissolve the blood clots in the arteries of the heart.
  • Later on, procedures like bypass surgery and angioplasty are done.

Cardiac arrest is a condition, where the heart stops pumping blood around body parts and the person stops breathing normally. The heart suddenly stops beating.

It is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. This malfunction causes an abnormal and irregular heart rhythm like ventricular tachycardia.

And just due to the irregular and disturbed rhythm, the heart is unable to pump blood to the brain, lungs, and all other parts of the body leading to unconsciousness and loss of pulse.

 The person may experience symptoms like-

  • Sudden onset of chest pain
  • No breathing or difficulty in breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

Treating cardiac arrest-

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr) is the emergency treatment for cardiac arrest and defibrillation is the other procedure.

So dear doctor take a deep breath and calm your heart by meditation and yoga. A healthy heart makes a healthy body and a healthy mind that will help you as a doctor to heal the world.

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