Some people think that the following three items mean the same thing: ‘heart attack’, ‘stroke’, and ‘cardiac arrest’. However, that is wrong, as even though they all refer to the heart, they have different reasons for appearing, as well as different symptoms and impacts on the body.


Distinguishing these terms can be very important for seeking the appropriate treatment, as well as for aiding someone with one of these conditions.

Go on reading and see what these terms mean, what their symptoms are and how you can adequately react upon facing them.

What Each of These Conditions Is

Heart Attack

It’s a circulation disorder.

When an individual’s blood flow rich in oxygen is blocked and cannot reach a certain part of the heart muscle, it may cause dying of the muscle if it is not restored. This leads to heart attack.

When an individual has a heart attack, their hart does not stop beating.

Cardiac Arrest

It’s an ‘electrical’ disorder.

If the electrical activity of some person’s heart undergoes chaos, it will result in irregular heart beats and instant stop of the process of blood pumping throughout the whole body. It is called cardiac arrest.

During cardiac arrest, the heartbeat stops totally.


It’s a brain disorder.

Not only one, but there are three types of stroke:

  • ischemic stroke: it is a result of a blockage of the artery which carries the blood rich in oxygen to the brain
  • transient ischemic attack (TIA): it is also called a mini-stroke, and it is a result of temporary stopping of the artery that carries blood to the brain to transport the blood
  • hemorrhagic stroke: it is a result of a rupturing an artery inside the brain

Heart Attack Symptoms:

These symptoms usually occur early on or the last several days before the heart attack.

  • chest pain (angina): it is a heaviness in the middle of the chest, and it is often confused with indigestion. It comes and goes sometimes for a couple of minutes
  • aches is the body: it is usually a pain in the neck, the back, the abdomen, the jaw, the arms, especially the left one
  • shortness of breath and wheezing
  • cold sweating
  • sensations of dizziness and faintness
  • developed anxiety
  • coughing
  • nausea

These symptoms cannot be treated with medications or home remedies, as they are linked to the heart, and not the digestive or some other system.

Cardiac Arrest Symptoms:

Sometimes, a few minutes before an individual experiences a cardiac arrest, they can feel similar symptoms to those of the heart attack.

  • weakness
  • blackout
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • extreme palpitation

However, in the majority of cases, the individual experiences:

  • sudden collapse
  • loss of breath
  • loss of pulse
  • lack of responsiveness

these symptoms occur immediately and often result in instant death. People who have suffered from a heart attack have an increased risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest.

Stroke Symptoms:

  • nausea
  • disrupted speech
  • numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg, on one side particularly
  • headaches and vomiting
  • mental confusion, like forgetting names and places, inability to follow a conversation
  • burred vision, double seeing
  • excessive sweating
  • walking inability, accompanied with dizziness
  • transient ischemic attack (TIA)


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