The news of Michael Jackson's death shocked us all, and while the circumstances are under investigation one element that has left people confused is how do a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest differ.
A heart attack, sometimes referred to as myocardial infarction, occurs when there is a sudden blockage of a coronary artery that supplies blood to the heart. It is a circulation issue and can be thought of like a plumbing problem. The blockage causes part of the heart muscle to die.
It was reported that Michael Jackson suffered sudden cardiac arrest; learn more.
Sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem with the heart where the rhythm of the heart beat becomes chaotic and irregular. Since organization of the heart and its timing are controlled by the electrical systems, this chaos leads to complete malfunction of the intricate system of the heart and the heart simply stops beating. Sudden cardiac arrest is usually associated with an underlying heart problem — a previous heart attack or heart failure. When sudden cardiac arrest occurs the emergency treatment is to begin CPR.