Do you know the difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack?

Campaigns - Chain of Survival

We keep seeing people mixing up cardiac arrests and heart attacks. Do you know the difference?

Sadly, too many people die from the first; but lots make a good recovery from the second.  Here’s a very simple explanation:

A heart attack happens when your heart muscle is starved of oxygen-rich blood. This causes damage to your heart muscle. In a heart attack you may feel tightness or pain in your chest, arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. For some it’s severe, others less so. You may become sweaty, feel light-headed or dizzy, or become short of breath. You may also feel nauseous or vomit.

A cardiac arrest is where your heart stops pumping blood – the patient will be unconscious and won’t be breathing normally, if at all. If someone’s having a cardiac arrest, phone 999 and give the patient CPR. If you don’t know how, the ambulance call handler will tell you

Although a heart attack can result in a cardiac arrest, they’re not the same. Make sure you know the difference – it could save a life. There’s more information here.

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