Health Beat: Heart Attack vs. Cardiac Arrest

Health Beat: Heart Attack vs. Cardiac Arrest

August 15, 2019 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


I’m Amy Buckman, and for Health Beat this
week we’re here at Penn Medicine where we’re going to speak to Dr. Benjamin Abella, about
the difference between Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack. The public often gets confused between a heart
attack and a cardiac arrest. A heart attack is when a piece of heart muscle
dies because of a blockage in a coronary artery. So is that fatal? Most of the time it is not fatal. Thankfully, in 2017 we have many treatments
for heart attack, and actually, most people recover. So heart attack is very survivable and you
never lose your pulse. Cardiac Arrest on the other hand, is when
the heart actually stops beating. Sometimes that’s from a blockage, sometimes
it’s from completely different causes. The heart stops beating and technically, without
any treatment cardiac arrest is 100% fatal. So cardiac arrest used to mean death, now,
with the invention of CPR, defibrillation and other treatments, it’s survivable, but
survival rates remain quite low. So, less then 10% of people leave the hospital
alive after a cardiac arrest. In treating patients have you seen a difference
in how many people die from cardiac events because there are these AEDs out there and
more people know CPR? I think one of the most important things,
while we’re talking about heart health, that people can do is to learn CPR. So the early delivery of cardio pulmonary
resuscitation, or CPR, can double or even triple the chance of survival. It’s also important if you’re in a workplace,
or in other public places, to be aware of automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs,
those are life saving devices that are in many gyms, train stations, airports, a variety
of locations. And they can also make a huge impact. They’re designed for people to use without
any medical training what so ever. Next week on Health Beat, as we continue to
explore heart health, we’ll look at women’s heart health issues. For Health Beat, I’m Amy Buckman.