Do you know how to spot the difference between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack?
Understanding the difference between a sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack can be the difference between life and death. Would you know what to do?
The Heart Safe programme trains people to save lives if they witness someone having a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Responding immediately is essential, but not everybody feels confident enough to do so, knows how to perform CPR or knows that they can use a defibrillator. Heart Safe teaches people how to spot a Sudden Cardiac Arrest and intervene safely to save a life.
We’re pleased to be hosting Bryan Platz from Heart Safe for the second year running to bring this lifesaving training to the Worcester community.
Along with the practical skills of using a defibrillator and giving CPR, Bryan brings a lot of insight and knowledge from his training experience. One of the things he comes across regularly is the confusion between a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and a heart attack.
SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating. It usually leads to death within a few minutes because the blood flow stops getting to the brain and vital organs.
SCA is caused by irregular heartbeats called arrhythmia’s. They are typically caused by an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system. When it occurs, the blood stops reaching the brain and other organs. The person collapses and appears lifeless.
In fact at this stage the victim is clinically dead and without immediate help, will remain so.
One common misconception is that Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the same thing as a Heart Attack. However, although they may be linked, these 2 heart conditions are quite different.
Common differences between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and a Heart Attack:
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
SCA is caused by an irregular heartbeat. It is an “electrical” problem.
It occurs when a blocked artery cannot supply the heart with oxygenated blood. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, that part of the heart begins to die. It is a mechanical problem.
There are very few symptoms in a Sudden Cardiac arrest. There may be some gasping, but perhaps most important is the lack of vital signs. The victim is already dead.
During heart attack, the victim is still conscious. They can experience intense discomfort in the chest, or upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms start slowly and can last anything between a few hours or even weeks before.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
If someone is suffering SCA, call emergency services and start CPR immediately. If there is an AED available, start using it straight away. If two people are available take it in turns to provide CPR. Essentially CPR replaces the mechanical function of the heart beats.
Call for an ambulance immediately. Unlike a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the victim is conscious and can explain how they feel. Help them into a comfortable position and do not leave them alone until the ambulance arrives.
Approximately 9 out of 10 Sudden Cardiac Arrests are fatal. However, when bystanders perform CPR or use an Automated External Defibrillator, 4 out of 10 survive.
You can help increase survival rates by taking part in a FREE Heart Safe training session with US officer Bryan Platz on Tuesday, the 25th of April at our offices on Barbourne Road.
Places are limited so secure your place now!
To book please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-heart-safe-training-learn-lifesaving-skills-tickets-33248620519 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.