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Michael Jackson and the Difference Between Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack

Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack

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.


Join The Conversation
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
Thanks Fit, I recognized there was a difference but not enough people know this.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Such scary but important facts to know. Thank you Fit.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Thanks for posting this, Fit. I think a lot of people get confused about the difference between cardiac arrest and an actual heart attack. Anyone of any age can go into cardiac arrest; it's not related to your artery health for the most part. That being said, I'm sort of bummed out/creeped out by everyone dying lately. I know they're all unrelated, but it just seems like a lot of famous people are dying prematurely this month and it's kind of creepy.
michlny michlny 8 years
then there is heart failure - i.e., Billy Mays
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