Heart attack versus heart failure: Differentiated

The most commonly confused heart diseases are different from one another.

It’s often hard to understand medical terminology. Certain things sound the same and might be related to the same organ, but can be very different. It’s important to know the difference between commonly confused conditions. For instance, heart failure and heart attack are related to your heart but have separate meanings. Here is the simplified meaning of both:

Heart failure

It refers to a condition where your heart is unable to pump sufficient blood. It’s also known as congestive heart failure. Blood tends to move slowly through the body, causing a rise in the pressure on your heart. Narrowed arteries too can leave your heart weakened.

A few symptoms of heart failure:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen abdomen, legs, feet
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Sudden weight gain

Heart attack

Heart attack, on the other hand, refers to a condition when the supply of blood to your heart is not sufficient. This condition is also called myocardial infarction. A common cause for heart attack is blocked artery, where a blood clot results in reduced blood supply. Chronic stress, smoking, obesity are prominent risk factors leading to heart attack.

However, things are often different for people. People can experience mild or severe pain. Early warning signs include chest pain, shortness of breath, discomfort in stomach, jaw.

A few symptoms of heart attack:

  • Tightness in chest
  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Others: feeling that life is ending, restlessness, coughing, nausea

According to Zeebiz, here’s what you can do before a patient is taken to a hospital:

Loosen the patient’s clothing and let them sit down somewhere. Call an ambulance, to take them to the nearest ambulance/medical facility.

Don’t give them anything to ingest, apart from under the tongue medication, if the doctor prescribes. Aspirin can be effective. Taking an Aspirin at the time of heart attack can lower mortality by 15 to 20 per cent.

If the patient loses heart beat, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be given. Press your hand in a pumping motion by placing it on the lower part of the patient’s breastbone.

Next Story