ANNOUNCER: A heart attack is a sudden condition caused by a blockage in the arteries that feed blood to the heart. When that happens, sections of heart muscle can become severely damaged and die.
DAVID F. KONG, MD: Heart attacks are very common. In fact, there are approximately 7 million people in the United States living today who have had a previous heart attack or other symptoms from blockages of the blood vessels that feed the heart.
ANNOUNCER: Myocardial infarction is the medical term for heart attack.
DAVID F. KONG, MD: Myocardial infarction is a blockage of the blood vessels that feed the heart. Fundamentally, "myocardial" means heart muscle, and "infarction" means a strangling, essentially.
ANNOUNCER: A heart attack can lead to heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, and sometimes death. Cardiac arrest is a dangerous condition that can also result from a heart attack. It occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating.
DAVID F. KONG, MD: Cardiac arrest is when the heart doesn't do its job and doesn't develop a pulse or doesn't develop a blood pressure. As a result, people who have cardiac arrest are often not conscious, have no breathing and have no pulse.
DAVID R. HOLMES, Jr., MD: The difference between a myocardial infarction and a cardiac arrest is incredibly important, because most of the time in patients with myocardial infarction, we can have them survive. They get to the hospital, and we can treat them. The problem with cardiac arrest is that that is often a lethal event. That's the sort of situation where a person is walking down the street, falls over dead.
ANNOUNCER: There are different signs and symptoms of heart attacks that everyone should be aware of.