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Monday, July 22, 2024

1 in 3 Canadians don’t know the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest

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A survey by the Heart and Stroke Foundation has revealed that despite 50% of Canadians being affected by heart disease and stroke, there is a significant lack of important knowledge regarding these health issues.

The survey shows that one in three Canadians doesn’t understand the difference between cardiac arrest and a heart attack. They are also unaware that men and women exhibit different symptoms during a heart attack.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, whereas a heart attack is related to a slowing or blocking of blood flow to the heart.

A stroke is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain.

The symptoms of a heart attack can vary between men and women.

What we typically consider a heart attack might very well be what happens in men. However, women experience heart attacks differently.

Women may experience atypical symptoms such as shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or abdomen, dizziness, pressure in the upper back, or extreme fatigue.

The survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is very low, with 90% of individuals not surviving. One in three Canadians is unaware of this fact.

Some Canadians believe they should take someone having a stroke to the hospital immediately, but in reality, they should call 911 right away.

Regarding cardiac arrest, Lesley James of Heart & Stroke stated, “Getting someone to the hospital delays the time when interventions can be used on-site with an AED [Automated External Defibrillator] and CPR.”

Instead, if you see someone suddenly collapse, call 911 immediately.

Immediate medical care is crucial for improving the prognosis of cardiac arrest, heart attacks, and strokes. Calling 911 immediately is essential in these situations. According to Dr. Robert Fahed, a neurologist at the Ottawa Hospital, heart attacks and strokes result from shared underlying risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and lack of exercise. Fahed mentioned in an interview that these factors account for the majority of heart attacks and strokes in Canada.

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