Is it a heart attack, or cardiac arrest? • Cardiovascular Network of Canada — CANet
CANet — Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada

Is it a heart attack, or cardiac arrest?

Did you know that cardiac arrest and a heart attack are not the same thing?
Cardiac arrest is usually caused by abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. Using an automated external defibrillator is the best way to shock the heart back into rhythm.
During a heart attack, a blockage has caused the heart to slow, but it typically continues to beat. Prompt treatment is critical, to prevent extensive damage to the victim’s heart.
Do you need an easy way to remember the difference?
Cardiac arrest is a problem with the electrical system, and a heart attack is a problem with the plumbing.
Knowing the difference, and being prepared to offer the best, most appropriate first aid could save a life.
Reducing Canada’s sudden cardiac death rate by 10% is one of CANet’s primary targets. Click here to learn more about CANet’s plan to address arrhythmia care in Canada.