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What is the difference between cardiac arrest, a heart attack, and heart failure?

In the United States, heart disease outranks all others as the primary cause of mortality. According to the World Health Organization, it is predicted to have caused the lives of 17.9 million people worldwide in 2019, which accounts for 32% of all deaths.

However, there are a variety of heart conditions. Heart and brain arteries, heart muscle, and heart valves are all vulnerable to its effects. Cardiovascular problems can develop slowly over time or suddenly and severely, necessitating extensive medical care.

What exactly is cardiac arrest?

When the heart’s electrical system is disrupted, it stops beating normally, resulting in cardiac arrest.

If immediate action is not performed during cardiac arrest, death can occur. Some cases of cardiac arrest are reversible if CPR is administered and a defibrillator is used to shock the heart and return it to a normal rhythm within a short amount of time.

The group estimates that more than 350,000 people in the United States have cardiac arrest each year outside of a medical facility.

When heart activity suddenly and unexpectedly ceases, respiration and consciousness likewise end suddenly and unexpectedly.

Although cardiac arrest can be brought on by a heart attack or any other known heart problem, the two conditions are distinct.

Commotio cordis is a medical emergency in which the heart rhythm is disrupted after a hit to the chest at a critical time in the heartbeat cycle.

It’s unusual, but it does happen occasionally, typically among young male athletes. The American Heart Association reports that annually two or three young baseball players in the United States die from cardiac arrest.

The survival rate has improved thanks to the use of automated external defibrillators.

What is an attack on the heart?

A heart attack is a circulation issue, not a heart issue, like cardiac arrest. Myocardial infarction, more generally known as a heart attack, occurs when blood supply to the heart muscle is interrupted for whatever reason, causing damage to the heart muscle.

The majority of artery blockages that lead to heart attacks are brought on by plaque buildup. Cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other chemicals in the blood combine to produce plaque.

When these substances are brought together, they can harden into plaque, which, if ruptured, can cause a blood clot to form. When blood clots get big enough, they can totally block an artery.

We always talk about the key risk factors for heart attacks, such as a family history of the disease, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use.

The American Heart Association reports that spasms in the heart muscle brought on by tobacco use or perhaps illegal drugs like cocaine are a less common cause of heart attacks. Even though it’s uncommon, a heart attack can be caused by a rip in an artery.

Even while a heart attack has the potential to be fatal, it does not always result in passing away. In many cases, a catastrophic outcome can be avoided with prompt emergency medical attention.

Call 911 immediately if you think someone is having a heart attack. Goldberg emphasized the urgency of the situation, saying, “Don’t wait” when advising his listeners to call an ambulance instead of hitching a ride to the emergency room. On the trip to the hospital, an ambulance can administer care.

Pain or discomfort in the chest, pain in one or both arms, pain in the back, neck, jaw, or stomach, and shortness of breath are all common warning signs of a heart attack. Perspiring cold sweat, feeling sick, or getting dizzy are some more indicators.

In the United States, cardiac arrest occurs less frequently than heart attacks.

What exactly is heart failure?

When the heart, which functions as a pump, is unable to efficiently pump blood through the body’s arteries and circulatory system, a disease known as heart failure develops.

A worsening of this illness, known as congestive heart failure, is characterized by a congestion, or blood traffic jam, in the body’s tissues due to a decrease in blood flow from the heart through the arteries and a subsequent increase in blood back to the heart through the veins.

Edema, or swelling, develops as a result, most frequently in the lower extremities. Because the kidneys are unable to excrete excess water and sodium, edema increases further when heart failure is present. Pulmonary edema is characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe.

Heart failure can be caused by a number of different medical issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and coronary artery disease (CAD), in which plaque builds up in the artery walls, making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood.

Unlike a heart attack or cardiac arrest, which both require emergency medical attention, heart failure can be managed with treatment.

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