What is The Difference Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack?

What is The Difference Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack?


Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attacks are in the news now more than ever according to Google Trends, but the two terms mean two entirely different events.

When speaking about the reasons to use an AED device, we identify that is used for a person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

The issue with that is that many people misrepresent make the mistake of labeling sudden cardiac arrest as a heart attack, however, there are few but major and key differences in the too. In the most basic sense, a heart attack may happen randomly but is caused by a specific reason or condition whereas sudden cardiac arrest is random and can happen for any reason.

In short, we think of SCA as an electrical problem, whereas a Heart Attack is a plumbing issue.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is an electrical malfunction of the heart that causes the heart to stop functioning and pump blood to other parts of the body. The electrical malfunction causes an arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat which can literally stop the heart leading to the heart no longer functioning. Shockingly, SCA is the number one cause of natural death in the United States, resulting in around 325,000 adult deaths in the United States each year and every year.

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is different. A heart attack occurs when blood flow is stopped by a blockage in one of the arteries. The symptoms of a heart attack also start much earlier, sometimes as earlier is a few weeks, days, or hours before and the heart may not fully stop during a heart attack. Heart attacks are also risk related to people with known heart disease, obesity, or other medical conditions.

Knowing the difference between the two is key in identifying how and when to use an AED device. An AED will help especially with sudden cardiac arrest as it corrects electrical arrhythmia. Although the two conditions are different, sudden cardiac arrest may occur during a heart attack or during the recovery of a heart attack.

At AED Brands, we celebrate saves within our network and recognize the impact a successful AED save can have on the community. We work with schools, higher education, police and fire departments and governments from local to the federal level to properly supply their programs.


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