Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack- Do You Know the Difference?

December 31, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, Awareness and Prevention, CPR, CPR Classes, CPR Training, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

heart health

There are differences between cardiac arrest and a heart attack and CPR Choice wants to make sure you are informed and prepared in the event of a medical emergency.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest or SCA?

Sudden cardiac arrest or SCA is a sudden or unexpected pulseless condition attributed to the cessation of cardiac mechanical activity.  It is usually caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system.  When SCA occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain, the heart and the rest of the body and the person collapses.  In fact, the person is clinically dead and will remain so unless someone helps immediately.

Most people do not realize that SCA is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40 in the United States and other countries. In the U.S. alone, approximately 424,000 people of all ages experience SCA each year (more than 1,000/day) and 19 out of 20 victims die.

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is reduced or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die.  A heart attack victim is awake and may complain about painful symptoms.  The heart muscle requires oxygen to survive. Coronary arteries are in charge of bringing oxygen rich blood to the heart. However, these arteries can become more narrow and clogged by fat, cholesterol, and plaque resulting in poor perfusion.

What Can I Do?

SCA can strike anyone, anytime.  Seconds count–timely and appropriate care will substantially improve survival rates.   In the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

  • Call 911. Give specific details; “I have a female, approx. 50 years old, experiencing chest pains…”
  • Tell someone to get the AED.
  • Begin doing chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute. (Think of the Bee Gees song, Stayin’ Alive.) Push hard and fast in between the nipples on the lower portion of the sternum.

What you can do to prepare:

  • Learn CPR and AED functionalityGet your friends and family involved too.  Remember, over 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home, which means a life you save could very well be a loved one!
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Access– spread the word on why having an AED at your work, school or community center can be the key to survival.  CPR Choice sells AEDs and provides hands on training, as well as guidance on internal procedures for the best utilization.

cardiac arrest heart attack

Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life!  It is a very small price to pay versus watching the ones you love pass in front of you. Sign up for a CPR class today!

Why Should You Choose CPR Choice?

CPR Choice, Knoxville Real Testimonials

"Best CPR Class I've ever attended."

"This is the BEST CPR class I have ever been to. As an RN, I’ve been to lots over the years. HIGHLY recommend this one!"

"I highly recommend CPR Choice for healthcare provider certification! It was easy to schedule and Cheryl kept the class interesting and informative. This was by far my best experience taking a CPR class. Thanks Cheryl!"

"I have been taking an annual CPR class for about eight years now, and never before now have I felt like I had such a complete grasp on the material."

"Best CPR class I have taken as an RN in 10 yrs! The instructor, Kristy, was the best instructor! Systematic approach to teaching with tons of energy and obvious interest in teaching CPR. Thank you!"

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