Difference between a heart attack, cardiac arrest, and stroke?


Difference between a heart attack, cardiac arrest, and stroke?

In: 473

Heart attack: blocked blood flow in heart, can kill parts of heart

Cardiac arrest: heart stopped, can be caused by many things – including above

Stroke: blocked blood flow in brain, can kill parts of brain

As heart feeds brain and brain controls heart, a failure in one can feed back into the other

Edit: coming back late, but so anyone reading this late as well isn’t misled, as many commenters pointed out strokes can be caused by bleeds as well (hemorrhagic stroke) as opposed to an “obstacle” blocking the flow like a blood clot. The brain also doesn’t have much *direct* influence on the heart. Check replies for more info.

An _Infarction_ is when there’s an obstacle (a clot, a hemorrhage or other things) preventing blood from carrying oxygen to a tissue, leading to cell death. It can happen anywhere in the body, but when it happens to the heart, the heart stops and you get a myocardial infarction also known as a heart attack. If it happens to the brain, part of the brain dies and that’s what a stroke is.

Cardiac arrest is just the generic term for when the heart stops, it could be due to a myocardial infarction but also a thousand other things.

A cardiac arrest is any condition where your heart is not pumping blood. There are lots of kinds, but they all result in death without treatment. The most common and treatable kind is because of a heart attack (it stops beating because the muscle has run out of energy or simply died off), but even under the best circumstances the survival rate is *only* 80%-ish (specifically, if it’s witnessed by a paramedic). Across all of them, around 90% or more of cardiac arrest victims die.

A heart attack is an event that injures the heart. The most common one by far involves a blood vessel that supplies the heart being blocked by a clot or by a ‘plaque’ (fatty stuff on the vessel walls), but there are other types as well, like one that happens because of another serious illness. Heart attack is the single most common cause of cardiac arrest.

A stroke is essentially a heart attack of the brain. They’re most commonly caused by a fat or clot blockage of a blood vessel, but occasionally also happen when a vessel tears and the person bleeds into their skull. This kills brain cells, which can leave permanent problems like being unable to move or speak normally.

Edit: kind of a random downvote, don’t you think?

Blood flow = good

No blood flow = area dies

Heart attack = no blood flow to certain parts of heart

Stroke = no blood flow to certain parts of brain

Cardiac arrest = heart stopped. Has numerous causes.

Ever notice that when non-medical people mention a heart attack (or stroke, for that matter), they always say “massive’ heart attack. (Or tornado et al).