I'm sure you will have seen in the news this week the shocking story of how former England player and manager Glenn Hoddle collapsed just minutes after playing 'keepy uppy' live on BT Sport. The newspaper reports regarding the incident describe how Hoddle had a heart attack and collapsed, his life was saved when a BT Sport colleague performed CPR and used an AED until the Paramedics arrived. But did he have a heart attack or a cardiac arrest? Do you know the difference between the two cardiac incidents and how to treat them? 
 
Heart Attack 
 
The heart is muscle, just like any other muscle in the body the heart needs its own blood supply to allow it to contract and perform each heartbeat. When the supply of blood to the heart is compromised or blocked, usually by a blood clot, the heart struggles to beat effectively. When this happens the casualty will experience chest pain, their skin will be pale, their breathng and pulse will become more rapid and they may feel dizzy or sick. Most casulaties remain conscious initally. 
 
What can I do to help? 
 
Call 999 for an ambulance 
 
The casualty may have been prescibed medication for an exsisiting heart condition, if so they should be encouraged to take their own asprin (300mg) and/or their own GTN spray. 
 
Sit the casualty down, ideally on the floor in the 'W' position. 
 
Calm and reasssure the casualty that an ambulance is on its way. 
 
Be prepared to resusitate. 
 
Cardiac Arrest 
 
A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart has stopped beating effectively and is unable to circulate blood around the body. If a person is in cardiac arrest they will be unconscious and not breathing as ther is no blood circulating to the brain and other vital organs. 
 
What can you do to help? 
 
See if the casualty will respond to you, speak to them first then gently squeeze their shoulders. 
 
If they do not respond, shout for help. 
 
Open their airway by tilting back the head and lifting the chin. 
 
Check for breathing for 10 seconds. 
 
If they are not breathing shout for help, get someone to call 999 for an ambulance and get a first aid kit and an AED if available. 
 
Start CPR 30 chest compressions then 2 Rescue breaths. 
 
If an AED arrives switch on and follow instructions. 
 
Continue CPR until the casualty shows signs of life, the Paramedics arrive and tell you to stop or you are too exhausted to continue (ask someone to carry on CPR if available). 
 
Did Glenn Hoddle Have A Heart Attack Or A Cardiac Arrest? 
 
Glenn Hoddle initially suffered a severe heart attack, the surgeons stated that the blood supply to his heart was 99% blocked. With such a limited blood supply and severe heart attack the heart very quickly struggled to continue to beat without a blood supply to the muscle and he went into cardiac arrest. 
 
A statement was released by the emergency services in relation to Glenn Hoddle's collapse that praised his BT Sport colleague, his quick action and CPR saved Glenn Hoddle's life. Survival rates of cardiac arrest when bystander CPR are significantly better than if no CPRis given before the Paramedics arrive. This is why at Lessons 4 Life we firmly believe that CPR and first aid are vital skills that eveyone should have. Many people do not know that there is a difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest as heart attack is a phrase which is commonly misused for both incidents. All our tutors have real life experience of dealing with both situations such as this working for the Ambulance Service. 
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