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Friday, 26 June 2009

Jacko: Cardiac arrest, not heart attack ?

A heart attack = Myocardial Infarction (MI). This is when a cardiac artery is blocked or restricted causing loss of oxygen supply to the heart muscle. Depending on severity this can cause a chest pain or lead to loss of function of major parts of the heart leading to death. Sometimes an MI triggers VF.

Cardiac arrest = Ventricular Fibrillation (VF). This is when the electrical signals in the heart get confused such that the heart stops beating and fibrillates, or quivers. It is like someone threw the off switch. No blood is pumped and the patient dies in ten minutes or so, unless CPR (which keeps some oxygen going to the brain) is followed by defibrillation, which stops the erroneous electrical signals and allow regular beating to happen. 95% of people who have a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital die of it. When someone dies of a cardiac arrest from out of the blue, it is called Sudden Cardiac Death.

I had a cardic arrest last August. I was driving to the shops in my car. If it wasn't for the two strangers who came to my aid and did CPR, I would be an SCD.

Question for th eBBC, Sun, Telegraph etc - could you please learn the difference ?

This charity is working on raising awareness of SCD and installing defibrillators in public places, to improce SCD survival rates.


  1. Thanks Mark for sharing your real life experience here with us all. Such experiences guide us how to prepare ourselves for sudden cardiac arrest. As it could happen to anyone and anytime.


  2. Recurrent Ischemia Or Heart Attack

    About 20 to 30 percent of heart attack patients experience pain that occurs after the heart attack. Called "postinfarction angina Term for choking pain (Latin, throat pain or choking). When coupled with the word 'pectoris' (Latin, of the chest), angina refers to a painful, constricting sensation in the chest. Angina is caused by coronary artery disease, which reduces the supply of blood to the heart muscle.," this indicates that remaining blood flow to the heart muscle is inadequate. These patients are at increased risk for a subsequent heart attack, called reinfarction.

    About 5 to 20 percent of these patients will experience another heart attack in the first six weeks following the original one. This second event may involve the same region of heart muscle or an entirely new region.

    Aggressive management of angina following a heart attack helps to reduce the risk of a subsequent heart attack. Patients who experience such angina usually undergo immediate cardiac catheterization Insertion of a catheter (fine tube) into an artery in the forearm or groin and snaking it through the blood vessels until it reaches the coronary arteries. This procedure is used during coronary angiography. See also coronary angiography. and cardiac angiography.