HealthWatch: Heart Attack vs Cardiac Arrest


Aurora BayCare Medical Center recently launched its new Aurora BayCare Afib Clinic.

According to the CDC about 610-thousand people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
February is the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month– a time to raise awareness about heart disease, the warning signs and how people can prevent it.

Did you know there is a difference between a cardiac arrest and a heart attack? Knowing the signs of both could save your life . 
Kevin Servais is very active and takes care of himself, “I’ve worked out consistently haven’t drank for 14 I eat fairly healthy,” said Kevin Servais, heart attack survivor, Green Bay.

In 2017 Kevin woke up and thought he worked out too hard the day before, “I had a backache, I had a pulled muscle.”

But it  wouldn’t go away. So he went to Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s Urgent Care and was immediately sent to the E-R  and landed in the care of Emergency Physician Kerry Ahrens . It wasn’t a pulled muscle, “And that EKG for him showed me a heart attack,” said Dr. Kerry Ahrens, MD, MS, emergency physician, Aurora BayCare Medical Center. 

Kevin’s right coronary artery was 100 percent blocked.  He needed a stent and was sent to the catheterization lab, “Cardiologists who are trained in this profession feed a wire thought the artery which goes all the way up into that artery of the heart, said Dr. Ahrens “And then they deploy a stent thought that clot, the stent opens up and essentially opens up the blood vessel.”

Restoring blood flow to the heart. There is a difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest, “they’re not mutually exclusive so a heart attack is when you have an artery that feeds the heart that gets  blocked gets clotted off by a clot or plaque and if that heart is blocked long enough it can stop the heart- that’s a cardiac arrest, ” explained Dr. Ahrens.

Both have similar symptoms, “Men symptoms typically you get that left sided chest pain, it can travel up their neck, it can radiate across their chest, it can travel down their arm they can get numbness and tingling in their arm, it can get they can have pain that goes into their back,” said Dr. Ahrens.

Women can have the same symptoms– but also pain in the stomach area, nausea, unexplained tiredness and cold sweats. If you have any of these symptoms, “You call 911,” said Dr. Ahrens.

Kevin is lucky he went to the hospital, “These are the people who wake up,  don’t wake up in some cases,” said Dr. Ahrens.

Kevin believes Dr. Ahrens saved his life, “Absolutely, she was amazing. She was the one that caught it,” said Kevin.

He appreciates the care he received at Aurora BayCare, “My experience was incredible from the doctor all the nurses I had,” said Kevin.

Kevin says he feels better now than he did before the heart attack and has a better outlook on life, “While I’m above ground im going to have a good attitude and I’m going to enjoy myself,” said Kevin. 

Aurora BayCare Medical Center is the area leader in door to balloon time, the critical period that measures how long it takes doctors to open a patient’s blocked arteries and restore blood flow.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

HealthWatch Logo