Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest, and Heart Failure—What Sets Them Apart from Each Other?

Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest, and Heart Failure


Heart attack, cardiac arrest, and heart failure are all types of heart disorders or ailments. These are closely related and interdependent. In common usage, these words are used interchangeably. But they are not the same. 

They may co-exist or be a reason for each other’s existence. However, They are distinguished from each other by what they ultimately do to the heart function. 

All three heart ailments have different symptoms, signs, treatment/ procedures to treat them, and approaches to prevent them.  Lastly, when we look at how they are interlinked, Heart failure is primarily caused by a heart attack and due to untreated high blood pressure. In comparison, sudden cardiac arrest is due to a previous heart attack or heart failure.

Distinguishing heart attack, cardiac arrest, and heart failure

What is a heart attack? What are the symptoms, approaches to prevention, and treatment?

A heart attack is also called a myocardial infarction. A heart attack is when the blood flow to the heart, which contains oxygen, is suddenly stopped; due to this, it may die of insufficient oxygen supply. 

Symptoms of a heart attack include

  1. Chest pain or discomfort- it is characterized by pain in the center and left side of the chest that lasts for a few minutes and comes back again. 
  2. Feeling weak
  3. Light-headed or faintness
  4. Pain in the jaw, neck or back
  5. Pain or discomfort in the arms and shoulders of one or both arms
  6. Shortness of breath 

Measures to lower the chances of another heart attack include:

  1. Physical activity: your doctor may advise you about your routine physical exercises. And may want to change it as per your health status. 
  2. Lifestyle changes – Heart health and overall quality of life can be improved by adopting changes in physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stress, apart from following prescription medicines. 

What is heart failure? What are the symptoms and treatment?

Heart failure is also called as congestive heart failure. It is a condition when the heart cannot pump enough blood for your body’s needs. It happens when the heart is too weak to pump the blood correctly. Heart failure can develop suddenly or over time. It can affect one or both sides of the heart. The causes of heart failure also include heart inflammation, high blood pressure, cardiac myopathy and irregular heartbeat. 

Symptoms of heart failure include

  1. Congestion in the lungs: It is characterized by a dry cough and shortness of breath due to fluid buildup inside the lungs. 
  2. Fluid retention in legs: It is characterized by swelling in the legs, ankles, and abdomen. It can lead to weight gain. 
  3. Fatigue and dizziness are seen during heart failure
  4. Irregular and rapid heartbeat is seen in heart failure

Treatment for heart failure includes

  1. Medications are the first line of approach
  2. Surgery – when the medications do not work or patients do not respond, surgery must correct it. 

Heart ailments are a growing concern. Medicines are one of the solid pillars for treatment. The first thing for prevention is to never skip your medications and always keep your medicine stock full. Online medicines app is useful in case, it has a wide range of medicines with different brands or even generic substitutes, Just order and get medicines at your doorstep.

What is Cardiac arrest? What are the symptoms and treatment?

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency condition. It is characterized by the sudden and unexpected stopping of the heart’s function. It results in a sudden stop of blood flow to the brain and other organs. It’s fatal sometimes. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect a cardiac arrest; your doctor will most likely run an electrocardiogram test to know the abnormality in the rhythm of the heart and may also use a defibrillator to shock your heart. An electric shock can often return to the normal rhythm of the heart. 

Symptoms of cardiac arrest include 

If you are under cardiac arrest, you may experience 

  1. Experience dizziness
  2. Shortness of breath 
  3. Vomit sensation or vomiting
  4. Heart palpitations may vary 

Treatment for Cardiac arrest includes 

The treatment options for cardiac arrest include:

  1. Medications – The medicines can lower the high blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  2. Surgery- can mend the damaged arteries involved in cardiac arrest. It also involves the removal of blockage from the arteries. 
  3. Exercise – it can help in improving the fitness and health of the cardiovascular system 
  4. Dietary changes 


Each of these heart ailments is markedly different concerning symptoms, identifying features of the disease, and treatment. However, they all show the effect on the heart. It’s the identifying feature, place of disorder, etc., that tell them apart and help the doctor to treat them appropriately and prevent unnecessary diagnosis and treatment. If you are looking to buy medicines, consider buying medications through TrueMeds. Through this medicine app, get the best experience ordering medicine online and availing of doctor’s consultation on prescription medicines.

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