There are some crucial differences between a heart attack, cardiac arrest, and stroke that when known, can save a life.
Most importantly, one should know that both heart attack and stroke are the result of a blockage of blood flow. However, whereas the blood cannot get to the heart during a heart attack, during a stroke, the blood cannot get to the brain. According to Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, a heart attack is usually caused by a blood clot, while a stroke is typically the result of a clogged or burst blood vessel.
Cardiac arrest is different from heart attack, although a heart attack can cause cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association, cardiac arrest is the term used to describe an event in which the heart unexpectedly and suddenly stops beating. When the heart stops beating, blood cannot reach the brain and other organs. The person suffering from cardiac arrest will lose consciousness and if left untreated for more than a few minutes, will die.
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