Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.

Many people use the terms heart attack and cardiac arrest interchangeably, but they mean two different things.. During cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. This occurs when an electrical issue in the heart causes an arrythmia, or irregular heartbeat. When this malfunction occurs, the heart fails to supply blood to the lungs, brain, and other important organs.

Seconds after suffering cardiac arrest, an individual will become unresponsive. In most cases, they will stop breathing; sometimes, they will be gasping for air. If they do not receive treatment within a few minutes, they will die. In the event of cardiac arrest, call 911 and begin CPR immediately. If possible, use a defibrillator right away. Cardiac arrest is usually caused by heart attacks. However, not all heart attacks lead to cardiac arrest.

Furthermore, cardiac arrest is sometimes caused by conditions other than a heart attack. Both cardiac arrest and heart attacks are major medical emergencies that require immediate treatment.