I know a few of my friends think what happened to me back in June was a heart attack and that is furthest from the truth. It's fundamentally different. I like the "Apples to Oranges" campaign the Heart Rhythm Society is promoting by providing education and information to the general public.
My cardiologist explained it to my husband and I as a short circuit or when the electricity is suddenly turned off. In SCA, the heart simply stops beating. It's as if someone pulls the main breaker on your house to the off position - the power flow would be quickly disrupted, and all power to your house would be lost. The results are instantaneous from the moment the breaker is pulled. Sudden cardiac arrest functions in much the same way. The switch is moved to the off position and the heart malfunctions, loses power, and immediately stops. The person loses consciousness, as blood no longer makes it to the brain, and they stop breathing.
The heart will need to be restarted, which like using jumper cables to restart a dead battery on a car, an AED, shocks the heart back into hopefully a not so dangerous rhythm. On a side note, one thing I learned this past Monday, after meeting my rescuers, according to the final report from the AED device that was used on me, I had been shocked six times!! No wonder my chest hurt. Of course, it also dd not help, that a couple of my ribs were cracked while doing compressions on me. For those who are apprehensive about breaking ribs, at least victims can recover from a broken rib, and I have been told a time or two, that if ribs are cracking, not enough pressure is being used. By the way, Pete and Jesse, I forgive you.