Heart Conditions

Heart failure is not the same thing as a heart attack. Make sure you know the difference:

Cardiac Arrest
Also: Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA); Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) Arrest, Sudden Cardiac Death  


Cardiac arrest describes a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating, depriving blood flow and oxygen to the brain and other vital organs. Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, although a heart attack can cause cardiac arrest. 

Of emergency heart conditions, cardiac arrest has the lowest survival rate, which is why immediate CPR and treatment within minutes is even more critical.

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Heart Attack
Also: Myocardial Infarction (MI); Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI); Coronary Occlusion; Coronary Thrombosis


A heart attack occurs when blood supply to a section of heart muscle is interrupted, usually due to a blockage (occlusion). If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, that section of heart muscle can become damaged from lack of oxygen and begin to die.

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Heart Failure
Also: Congestive Heart Failure


Heart failure is a condition in which the heart isn't properly pumping blood, impairing its ability to supply sufficient blood flow to the heart itself and/or the rest of the body.

A diagnosis of heart failure doesn’t mean that you've had a heart attack, or that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It is, however, a serious condition that requires medical care. There is no cure, but there are available treatments to help delay complications of heart failure.

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Guide-to Guide: Living Well with Heart Failure