The terms cardiac arrest and heart attack have been often interchangeably used by a number of people in Singapore, but these two conditions differ from each other. While a great number of heart attacks do not necessarily lead to a cardiac arrest, having a heart attack is one common cause of a cardiac arrest.
What is a cardiac arrest?
Ask any cardiologist and they’re likely to let you know that a cardiac arrest is more of an ‘electrical’ problem. The condition happens when the heart begins to malfunction and unexpectedly stops beating. Your heart specialist would say the condition is caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart, which is the reason why you have an abnormal heartbeat or Arrhythmia.
Since the normal pumping pattern of the organ is disrupted, it cannot pump enough blood for the lungs, brain, and other organs for their usual functioning.
What happens during a cardiac arrest?
When a cardiac arrest happens, the patient turns unresponsive and may even stop breathing or only gasp. It can also be fatal, thus immediate treatment by a cardiologist from Singapore must be provided to the victim in order to prevent serious complications. Knowing the nearest heart doctor or cardiology center helps in such times of emergency.
What should you do?
You don’t need to be the best cardiologist in Singapore to provide assistance to a victim suffering from cardiac arrest. As a matter of fact, the condition can be reversible if it’s treated immediately within the first few minutes. Don’t forget to call emergency medical services for help (995), and begin to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if you have adequate medical background.
By the time an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is made available, make sure the patient uses it as soon as possible. Given the chances of a cardiac arrest occurring at the most unlikely places during the most unlikely hours, if two people are available to assist the patient – one should provide CPR while the other must remain calm and stern in calling 995 and finding an available AED nearby.
What is a heart attack?
Contrary to a cardiac arrest’s ‘electrical’ problem, a heart specialist would know that a heart attack is more of a ‘circulation’ problem. The condition occurs when the regular blood flow to the heart is blocked. Having a blocked artery may prevent the blood (which carries oxygen) to reach a particular section of the heart.
Any cardiologist knows how a heart attack can be dangerous. If the blocked artery is not immediately reopened, the specific part of the heart which normally gets nourished by that particular artery begins to perish and cease to fulfill normal function.
What happens during a heart attack?
If you frequently visit your cardiologist for a heart screening, you can ask them about the common symptoms of a heart attack for your knowledge. This would help you deal with the problem during the unfortunate moment it may happen to you or a loved one.
Common symptoms of a heart attack include the following: shortness of breath, intense discomfort in the chest (general upper body), nausea/vomiting, and cold sweats. It is important to note that these symptoms tht you can read from http://www.harleystreet.sg/blog/heart-health-get-screened-by-a-good-cardiologist-in-singapore/ begin to appear in a gradual pace, meaning it may persist for days or even weeks before the occurrence of a heart attack.
Contrary to a cardiac arrest, the heart typically doesn’t cease to beat in the event of a heart attack. However, the longer the person remains untreated and unassessed by a heart doctor, the greater damage the heart attack may inflict on him/her.
Heart attack symptoms may also vary between genders. For instance, women may experience different symptoms compared to men. This may include nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, and jaw or back pain.
What should you do?
A heart attack may happen to just about anyone regardless of healthy heart results during your regular heart screening procedure. Because of varying age, gender, or lifestyle factors – anyone can be prone to the risk of a mild or acute heart attack at some point in time.
In dealing with a heart attack, you must first call 995 in Singapore for emergency medical assistance. Remember that every second matters. Calling the emergency medical services (EMS) right away can help you get the patient to the emergency room as soon as possible. This is important; considering the longer you prolong treatment to a heart attack victim, the greater danger he/she might face in the future.
Treatment can begin as soon as emergency medical professionals arrive at the scene. They are trained to handle emergency circumstances with ease, and some staff are even well-versed at trying to revive someone whose heart has ceased to beat. Heart attack patients who arrive by the ambulance car are also likely to receive faster treatment at the hospital, increasing the chances of survival.
What’s the link between the two?
Generally, heart attacks do not lead further to a full-blown cardiac arrest. But a heart attack is one common cause in the event of a cardiac arrest. The link between the two conditions is so close that a lot of people mistakenly refer to one condition as the other and vice versa.
There are also other health conditions which may disrupt the natural rhythm of the heart. Oftentimes, these cases lead to a cardiac arrest.
Every second counts in the event of a cardiac arrest or a heart attack. Even if you remain unsure which condition is the patient suffering from, whether it’s a heart attack or a full-blown cardiac arrest, always seek emergency medical help ASAP the moment you notice the symptoms. Keep a watchful eye out for red flags, as they might save your life in the long run.
Note: This list is compiled in no particular order.