Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack

I’ve been kind of MIA here, thanks to interrupted eat, sleep and writing cycles  because of the World Cup. I really meant to do an update on the 2-week intensive workshop at the Science Centre but I have been procrastinating that it never happened, so apologies. I will do one very soon but I badly needed to clear this particular misconception right away.

For our final presentation yesterday, our group presented on how best we can teach the circulatory system.

I had read up that students were confused with the different terminology between heart disease, heart failure, heart attack and cardiac arrest. Based on textbooks and some videos and I came to the conclusion that heart attack is a result of blockage of coronary arteries leading to the death of the heart tissue by starvation of oxygen and that cardiac arrest occurs when there is an accumulation of dead heart tissues that the heart stops completely.

However, TheChocolateTeacher made a very lucid point about how athletes who collapse suddenly also die of cardiac arrest but their hearts were shown not to have any damaged tissue. Being really bothered about what this means and if I myself had a very big misconception on the topic, I did a bit of research and found a conclusion, corroborated by a few sources and succinctly presented by the graphic below by the American Heart Association:

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