The terms heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest are used interchangeably, but they are not the same. There are significant differences between the two. It is important to know the difference for proper treatment and care. Seniors and their loved ones in Brooklyn Heights as well as other areas need to be educated about the distinctions.
According to Harvard Health Publishing of Harvard Medical School, “While a heart attack is a plumbing problem, a cardiac arrest is an electrical problem.” This means that a heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, is usually caused by some blockage in the heart muscle or inadequate blood flow. As such, the heart usually does not stop completely. However, sudden cardiac arrest is the result of an electrical irregularity or disruption of the heart’s rhythm such as rapid or chaotic beating or even a total short circuit and shutdown. In fact, a heart attack leaves someone at a greater risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
Symptoms of Heart Attack:
These can come on suddenly or build over time; hours, days or weeks.
- Pain in the chest
- Discomfort in arm, back, neck, jaw, stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden vomiting
- Unusual fatigue
Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest:
These usually come on suddenly, without any warning.
- Sudden loss of responsiveness
- Abnormal breathing
What to Do
In both cases, it is critical to call 911 immediately. The paramedics should arrive within minutes and start working on the patient right away, either on site or in the ambulance, not waiting to get to the hospital.
Cardiac arrest is reversible most of the time if treated in the first few moments. As such, it is important to use an automated external defibrillator to jump start the heart. Until professional help arrives, it is important to start Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). This is an emergency lifesaving procedure that can double or triple the chances of survival. If no one more qualified is around, you need not be certified to step in. The American Heart Association has a clear and compact one minute video on the subject. Performing Hands-Only CPR while waiting for emergency medical professionals to arrive can truly save a life.
David York Agency Home Healthcare Can Help Seniors in Brooklyn Heights
At David York Agency, we understand the many challenges and risks faced by the aging and elderly and are dedicated to providing care to support them through all of those ups and down. At David York Home Healthcare Agency, extraordinary service is what sets us apart from other companies in Brooklyn Heights that provide in home healthcare services.
DYA we could provide direction as to how to manage the total care of your senior loved one. Whatever your care needs, we are there for you, always striving to exceed your expectations. For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at (718) 376-7755. A free phone consultation can help you determine what services would meet your needs. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.