How does a heart attack happen? It occurs due to the blocking of the flow of blood (that is rich in oxygen). If the flow of oxygen does not resume or continue and the blood is unable to reach the heart, the section of heart muscles begins to decease. Heart attack is a life threatening emergency. If you ever experience it, chances are you may or may not survive it. However, the possibility of survival can become high if urgent action is taken in the time of emergency. Now you can find out the level of risk attached to your heart by using ASCVD Risk Calculator. Heart attack can occur to a person of any age group, it is painful and sudden. When it does occur, you might find yourself in company or someone or you may be totally alone. To increase chances of survival, you must hold high knowledge regarding the topic and should know what to do in time of need. This information may prove to be lethal to you or anyone around you who encounters cardiac arrest.
Firstly, you must be aware of the symptoms. A heart attack, as commonly heard, will start with crushing, piercing pain but not everyone may experience this. A heart attack won’t start off like that for everyone, people who have diabetes might not experience any symptoms at all.
Some people will first experience slight discomfort and pain, it can happen whenever, doesn’t matter if you’re active or resting. How severe a heart attack starts is also affected by factors like medical condition, age or gender etc.
Other symptoms include: Chest discomfort, it feels like
pressing pain or as if there’s pressure on your chest. It will last for a few
minute and may start again.
In several occasions, the pain may spread to other parts of your body from your chest, like both arms or one arm, teeth, jaw, upper body, neck and back.
A few other signs are: shortness of breath, doesn’t have to necessarily be accompanied by discomfort. Cold sweats are also a common sign, anxiety, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, feeling tired without a reason or feeling lightheaded etc.
For women, the symptoms could vary. Women may have to encounter additional problems like pain in abdominal, shoulder, upper back or neck.
WHAT TO DO:
Once you know what the symptoms are, you should also be well aware of the actions you have to take in time of emergency. If you take the right actions, it can be live-saving for you and someone else around you that might be facing a heart attack.
So, if someone around your or you start to feel discomfort in chest or any other symptoms of heart attack, the right thing would be firstly to call any emergency hotline (depending on the area you live in) i.e. 911.
Your first instinct may be driving yourself or the victim to
the hospital, but that may not be a good idea. It’s better to call an ambulance
first. The authorities or EMS (Emergency medical services) will start the
treatment on your way to the hospital while you’re in the ambulance. They are
fully equipped with the knowledge and tools to help you in this time of dire
need and also know how to revive you if your heart stops working.
You should only drive to the hospital when you are out of options. However, if you are the one experiencing a heart attack, then try every other facility before driving.
Many people ignore the symptoms because they are too mild or small to be concerned about, but heart attacks are death causing, they start off small. So, if feel any type of unfamiliar tightening or pain, you must see a doctor at all costs. You should also encourage people around you (like friends and family members) to speak up if they are experiencing anything like this, since people hesitate because they don’t want to bother their family or friends.
All the signs mentioned above should be taken seriously. If you act right at this crucial time, you will be thanking yourself the rest of your life.
As said many times before, if you act quickly without wasting any time, you will save lives. If medications, that bust open clots and open arteries, are given in a short time after you experience the symptoms, you may be able avoid a heart attack. Having a catherization with stent put can also open up a blocked blood vessel.
Many people die after one hour of experiencing the symptoms. If you encounter any of the above mentioned symptoms, and are able to survive a heart attack, you should not then forget about it or ignore it. Get a proper treatment and visit your doctor from time to time. The more you will wait in getting proper medical treatment, chances of experiencing another heart attack will increase.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE PARAMEDICS ARRIVE:
It will obviously take a bit of time for the officials to reach you. While they are on their way, you must take a few things into consideration. Firstly, do not panic. It is important for you to stay calm.
If the person is not allergic to aspirin, have them chew and swallow a baby aspirin. It works better when you chew and not swallow it.
If the breathing stops, you or someone else who is a professional should perform CPR. If no one is around, then the 911 officials will guide until EMS professionals arrive.
Heart attacks are unpredictable. This is why it is important that you know everything about them beforehand. You must know all the symptoms and precautions mentioned above. Also, remember to call for EMS five minutes after you start experiencing the symptoms.
You should be aware of the factors that can cause heart attack and also, know about your allergies or any other thing that may trigger it.
Keep a track of your doctor’s number or any other person you know that can come to your house, since it is always good to have someone around you while it occurs.
You must also tell your family about all the symptoms so they can prepare for it as well.