Watch: What's the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest?

Our animation explains the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest and what to do in these emergencies.


5 differences between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest:

  1. A heart attack is not the same as a cardiac arrest.
  2. A heart attack is when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked. The heart muscle is robbed of its vital blood supply and, if left untreated, will begin to die because it is not getting enough oxygen.
  3. A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and they stop breathing normally.
  4. Many cardiac arrests in adults happen because of a heart attack. This is because a person who is having a heart attack may develop a dangerous heart rhythm, which can cause a cardiac arrest.
  5. A heart attack and a cardiac arrest are both emergency situations. Call 999 straight away.

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