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The Difference Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest And A Heart Attack

Posted by Thomas Oliver on 6/19/2014

A heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest may sound similar, but they are two very different events. 

During a heart attack, circulation becomes blocked and blood canít reach the heart. A sudden cardiac arrest involves an electrical problem that causes the heart to stop beating. 

Both situations are extremely dangerous. 

Heart Attack Symptoms and Treatment

Heart attacks are caused by blocked arteries. Modern medicine makes treatment possible in most cases. In all cases, fast action is crucial for survival. 

Symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Discomfort in the jaw, neck, arms or other parts of the body
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue

The symptoms of a heart attack may appear all at once or fade in and out over a period of hours. Some of these symptoms can have many causes, but serious chest pain or shortness of breath should never be ignored. 

If you think you might be having a heart attack, dial 911. Aspirin has been proven to increase the chances of survival during a heart attack, but make sure you know ahead of time whether or not it's safe for you to take it. New research shows that aspirin may not work in certain circumstances, and if you're suffering from a heart-rhythm disorder, it may even be dangerous. 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symptoms and Treatment

A sudden cardiac arrest is caused by a malfunction of the heart. Although some patients get warning signs, sudden cardiac arrest often doesn't present symptoms ahead of time.

Symptoms may include:

  • A fast or irregular heartbeat.
  • Chest pains.
  • Dizziness.

If you think you or someone you love is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, immediately dial 911. If you have been trained in CPR, begin the process as soon as the ambulance is on the way. CPR can keep oxygen moving through the body while the heart cannot. 

The next step after CPR is defibrillation. This may be done with an AED, which is used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm. An AED can restart the heart after an electrical problem, but it will not help in the event of a heart attack. 

Natural Tips for Protecting Your Heart

Making certain changes can guard against heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest. 

1. Clean up Your Life

If youíre drinking heavily, smoking cigarettes or surrounding yourself with toxic situations and people, itís time to turn a new page. Cleansing yourself of negativity will ease stress and help you experience life at a more relaxing pace. 

2. Dedicate to Diet

Research has shown that a diet of fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich legumes, whole grains, lean proteins and rich, healthy fats can protect the heart. 

Enjoy plenty of:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Black beans.
  • Salmon.
  • Flaxseed.
  • Avocados.
  • Almonds.

3. Get Moving

If you want more energy, better sleep and protection against heart problems, today is the day to commit to exercise. If you're suffering from severe obesity or coming out of a sedentary lifestyle, consult with your doctor before beginning any serious routine.


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