World Heart Day: Heart Attack Vs Cardiac Arrest; Know what to do in an emergency

Heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest are two terms that are often being used interchangeably even though both are way too different from one another. When an individual has a heart attack, it is due to a blockage in the arteries which leads to sudden chest pain, sweating, palpitation, sinking sensation and anxiety. If left untreated, this can lead to a sudden cardiac arrest. However, there are other causes of sudden cardiac arrest such as arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat).

What can be done when an individual experiences a heart attack?

First, one must be able to identify when someone experiences a heart attack. Common signs for a heart attack are

  • Severe central chest pain moving towards the neck, left or both upper arms
  • Cold sweats
  • Sense of impending death
  • Feeling anxious

In this case, the patient should be rushed to the hospital and undergo an ESG. This scan helps identify and confirm if the patient experienced a heart attack. Post confirmation, they can opt for the right course of treatment for them, as recommended.

What to do during a sudden cardiac arrest?

If a patient with sudden cardiac arrest suddenly collapse, in this situation, the person has to be laid down on the floor immediately and their pulse needs to be checked immediately. If no pulse is detected, they should be given CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). If there is a possibility of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), it can be used on the patient. 

What should be done to avoid a sudden cardiac problem?

  • Avoid Smoking
  • An active lifestyle
  • Walks
  • Checking blood pressure regularly
  • Checking cholesterol regularly
  • People with uncontrolled diabetes, taking medications religiously
  • Addressing and reducing stress, anxiety