Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest: Everything You Need to Know

Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest

Last updated on June 11th, 2021 at 04:08 pm

Today, let’s talk about Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest.

The two terms “cardiac arrest” and “heart attack” are often used interchangeably.

However, they are actually two distinct conditions.

To know about Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest, it is first necessary to understand what happens in both of these processes.

So, let’s dive straight into the topic.

What is Heart Attack?

A heart attack is when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked.

Usually, a blood vessel to the heart has become blocked by a clot.

Thanks to BHF research, we know heart attacks are caused by clots in arteries.

This is because the heart muscle suffers from a lack of blood and oxygen.

This Causes pain or burning in the chest.

Some people just feel uncomfortable, others have strong pain. The Person may look sweaty or breathless.

Someone having a heart attack is usually conscious.

To prevent any mishap during the course of a heart attack, or, a massive heart attack, kindly keeps a few medical emergency numbers with you all the time.

And while wait for medical assistance to come, let the patient sit down calmly.

A heart attack is a life-threatening emergency.

What is Cardiac Arrest?

When the heart stops beating and needs to be restarted that’s called cardiac arrest.

A heart attack is a problem of the circulation of blood and oxygen.

But a cardiac arrest is a disruption of the heart’s rhythm from an electrical problem.

A heart attack is not mostly connected with a cardiac arrest.

But a heart attack is a common cause when cardiac arrest happens.

In most cases, cardiac arrest is not a permanent condition experienced during a medical emergency.

For a patient, this is not compulsory to have any heart disease for cardiac arrest.

But yes most of the time patients get some warning symptoms up to a month before cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest stops the heart from beating as a result the brain, lungs, and other organs do not get the blood and oxygen for running.

This can lead to death within minutes if emergency steps not taken on time.

In cardiac arrest, our brain does not get enough oxygen at all.

So patient faints.

Breathing will be stopped or very much less.

Start CPR.

Chest compressions and rescue breaths can keep someone alive until medical help arrives.

Heart Attack Vs Cardiac Arrest – Symptoms:

Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest

In addition to the physiological mechanism, there is a difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest also.

Symptoms of Heart Attack Include:

  • Chest Pain – several minutes long feeling of tightness in the chest that doesn’t heal with rest.
  • Spreading of chest pain to other areas like arms, jaw, neck, back, and abdomen, etc.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Feeling or being sick.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dizziness.
  • Sweating.
  • Weakness.
  • Palpitations.

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest Include:

  • Sudden loss of consciousness/responsiveness.
  • No breathing.
  • No pulse.

A cardiac arrest causes a lack of pulse.

As a result, the other body organs become blood-deprived.

This can lead to death.

The following warning signs may occur in the period before a cardiac arrest:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea

So, there are many symptoms that make a difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest.


I have discussed in a simple way the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest in this article.

There are so many different symptoms of a heart attack.

The major symptoms of a cardiac arrest are unconsciousness, lack of breathing, and no pulse.

Finally, there are many different causes of a cardiac arrest; whereas the main cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease.

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About the Author: Moumita Jana

Moumita is the Editor-in-Chief here at BlissLife. She is also the H.R. Head at Amazing Electronics. She loves to Cook and Travel the World in her leisure time.


  1. It is superb information about Cardiac arrest and Heart attack.
    We should run a campaign for everyone to know this subject so we can save someone life.
    Once again thank you very much,need some more information about lifestyle & health.
    Thank you

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