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    What causes a heart attack?

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Cardiac arrest

When someone has a heart attack -- or myocardial infarction -- it means the blood flow to their heart has been cut off, but their heart is still beating. Cardiac arrest is when their heart fails to contract properly, and can't pump blood throughout their body. Since the blood isn't getting circulated, their body isn't getting the oxygen it needs to work properly. When their brain is deprived of oxygen, it could cause them to lose consciousness and stop breathing. A victim of cardiac arrest can suffer permanent brain damage if it takes longer than five minutes to get medical help. If someone around you is having a cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 immediately. Although they are different problems, a heart attack can actually lead to cardiac arrest. That's why it's so important to call for help if you suspect anyone around you is having problems with their heart.

Last modified: 2012-03-06