The difference between these 2 medical emergencies  is that one will see the person conscious and the other unconscious.

It can be confusing and many people mistakenly assume they are the same, but they are not and each happens as a result of different problems in the body.

A heart attack is when a coronary artery becomes blocked with calcium plaque, as a result the  heart muscle is starved of its vital blood supply and does not get enough oxygen. If you are having a heart attack you will be conscious but experience pains in the chest.

A cardiac arrest is when someone’s heart actually stops pumping blood and they stop breathing, if you are in cardiac arrest you will be unconscious and need to receive CPR immediately to survive.

Unfortunately there are usually no symptoms before a cardiac arrest, however when a person is having one they won’t be conscious and they won’t be responsive, so it really is imperative to restore the heart rhythm as fast as possible.