March 7, 2016

Cardiac Arrest, Heart Attack, and Stroke

cardiac arrest
Photo Source: Brainlogger
Last week the entertainment industry was shocked by the death of one of the best directors Wenn Deramas. According to news, he had a heart attack which resulted in cardiac arrest.

Earlier I heard from the news that another famous director, Xavier Passion, was found in his room dead. He was the director of different top-rating teleseryes like “On the Wings of Love”, “Princess and I”, “Nathaniel”, and others. Based on the report, he died of cardiac arrest too.

But what is a cardiac arrest? How is it related to a heart attack?

Most used these two medical terms as the same. Actually, it is not. A heart attack happens when an artery for the oxygen-rich blood was blocked preventing the flow towards the heart.If the blockage was not removed immediately, the part of the heart with blocked artery will start to degenerate.

Cardiac arrest, on the other hand, is actually the “electrical” malfunction of the heart caused by arrhythmia or the irregular heartbeat. If this happens, blood going to the brain, lungs and other internal organs may be affected which resulted in a loss of consciousness and worst, death.

With the definitions above, this means that heart attack is more of blood circulation problem while a cardiac arrest is of the beating or pumping.

Cardiac arrest can happen after or during recovery from heart attack. A heart attack is not usually the cause but it increases the possibility of having a cardiac arrest. Other heart conditions that may lead to a cardiac arrest are thickening of heart muscle, heart failure, ventricular fibrillation and long Q-T syndrome.

Another health condition that is used to interchange with a heart attack is a stroke. Again, this two conditions is different.
Stroke is an attack in the brain. It happens when the blood vessel carrying oxygen and other nutrients to the brain gets clogged or bursts.

Though heart attack and stroke are different, the factors that can increase the occurrence of the said conditions are common. Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, genes and abnormal heart beat are just a few.

Here is a simple illustration to differentiate the three health conditions:

Photo source: Eye Opening
Knowing what to do in case of signs and symptoms of heart attack, cardiac arrest and stroke are important to save one’s life.

But keeping a healthy lifestyle is the best prevention from any health problems.