Stroke, Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack: How Are They Different?

There are vital differences between a stroke, cardiac arrest and a heart attack. By knowing these differences, you can save your life or the life of your loved ones.

However in order to know the differences, first you need to understand the basics about stroke, heart attack, and cardiac attack.

What You Should Know

You need to know that both stroke and heart attack occur due to blockage of blood flow. During a heart attack, the blood is not able to get to the heart. On the other hand, in time of a stroke, the blood is not able to get to the brain.

The stroke is usually a result of burst or clogged blood vessel while the heart attack is commonly the result of a blood clot. Moreover, the cardiac arrest differentiates from the heart attack. Although you should know that a heart attack might lead to cardiac arrest.

The American Heart Association says that the term cardiac arrest is usually used to describe when the heart suddenly or unexpectedly stops beating.

When the heart suddenly stops beating, the blood is not able to get to the brain and all other organs. In case of cardiac arrest, the person usually loses consciousness, and he or she must be treated right away otherwise he or she might die.

What to Do In Such Time

In case someone suddenly and unexpectedly collapses, it’s vital to immediately call 911 and do CPR regularly until the ambulance arrives.

According to the American Heart Association is vital to perform Hands-Only CPR. You should do it according to the disco beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive.” If you do this, you will double the chances of survival.

Symptoms of Heart Attack

Signs of a heart attack are discomfort, squeezing or sensation, pressure, tight ache, in the back, chest, arm, and shoulders. Other symptoms of heart attack are sweating, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and anxiety.

Women are more likely to have symptoms other than those of the chest area like a pain in the jaw and neck, vomiting, and nausea. In case someone or you have these symptoms for up to 5 minutes, it’s vital to call 911 right away.

3 Main Symptoms of Stroke

When it comes to stroke, there are 3 main symptoms you should know about. You can easily remember these symptoms with the abbreviation “FAST.” This abbreviation stands for F – Face dropping, A-Arm weakness, S – Speech difficulty and T – Time for 911.

In a time of a stroke, one arm is numb or weak. Usually, the speech is slurred, and one part of the face is numb, or it drops. In case you think someone is having a stroke remember the T – time for 911.

You need to look at the time and estimate the time around which the symptoms actually began in order to tell this to the medical professional.

Don’t waste time and call 911. Time is crucial in all these emergencies.

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

The signs of cardiac arrest are drastic and immediate; they are a loss of consciousness, no pulse, sudden collapse and no breathing.

In some cases, other symptoms and signs might precede sudden cardiac arrest. Those signs are vomiting, fatigue, palpitations, fainting, blackouts, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath and chest pain.

However, often the sudden cardiac arrest might occur without any warning.

Risk Factors

The risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiac arrest is higher in people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, who smoke or have a sedentary lifestyle.

As a matter of fact, all people should be aware of the signs of cardiac arrest, stroke and heart attack. However, the people above mentioned should pay special attention to these signs.

Always Remember

If you are with someone, who is having any of the symptoms above mentioned you should call 911 right away. The best way to deal with such situation is to call an ambulance as soon as possible.

By knowing the symptoms, you will know what is going on and that it’s an emergency. Remember the symptoms and save a life.


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