My father had a heart attack in a public place, but he was not treated
with an AED. Is sudden cardiac arrest the same as a heart attack?
A: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is not the same thing as a heart attack (myocardial
infarction), although a person suffering a heart attack has an increased
risk of SCA.
A heart attack is caused by a blockage in an artery that supplies blood
to the heart. The muscle in the heart is deprived of oxygen and begins
to die. Heart attack victims may experience chest, arm, upper abdomen,
or jaw pain as well as weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and/or sweating,
but they usually remain conscious and alert. If they receive proper treatment,
many people survive heart attacks.
An AED cannot save a heart attack victim and should never be used in a
conscious patient with a pulse.
Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm. The victim
suddenly collapses with no previous symptoms or warning. The victim will
be unconscious and unresponsive and have no detectable pulse. Ninety to
ninety-five percent of those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest will die
unless they receive defibrillation within ten minutes of collapse.
In some cases, AEDs malfunction because of poor maintenance or manufacturing
defects. When this occurs victims may be injured or die. Families of AED
malfunction victims have the right to file an
AED injury lawsuit. To learn more about your rights if you've lost a loved one because
of a defective AED, contact The Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, P.A.
at 1-(561) 600-5605.