First and foremost, there is a need to understand the vital difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest. In a heart attack, the blood flow gets disrupted due to the blockage in the arteries, while in cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly stops functioning. Cardiac arrests are triggered by several factors and in the majority of cases, it results in sudden death, while in the case of a heart attack, the person’s life can be saved, if the necessary intervention is done well in time. In cases which are reported in Kashmir and those which have been brought to the fore by a section of media, there is no clear distinction made between the two—cardiac arrest or heart attack. Because for both, the reasons could be different and for that to ascertain, there is a need for more scientific evidence and data—so that a rise, if there is any, is put forth in the news reports.
There sure have been several changes in the lifestyles which are giving rise to heart ailments, but making it blunt and creating panic among people that there has been a “sudden rise” in the heart attack cases in Kashmir, is nothing but exaggeration and tantamount to sensationalism lacking facts and figures. Getting to have 5-7 patients a day suffering a heart attack at the tertiary care hospitals is nothing but normal, especially in the winter season. At the same time, it needs to be said that smoking, increased intake of junk and decreased physical activities automatically give rise to several diseases and those come along with the risk of heart ailments, which usually go unattended, and then manifest suddenly as cardiac arrest or a heart attack, either ending up killing people or putting them on alert.
The role of the media has to be sensible. Media must report on such issues with more responsibility and knowledge, because, through such reports, they are doing nothing but spreading panic; to make such stories solid, they need to dig deep and do everything to avoid making a mountain out of a pebble. The numbers in the medical sciences are often misleading because there is so much underneath—better would be to spread awareness, identify and talk about the cause of heart ailments, and changes in lifestyle, rather than going with what meets the eye.