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What to do in the event of a heart attack

I don’t know what could be scarier than a heart attack.

You will just be on your own and your heart will start beating irregularly or just stop completely.  Hian! Though a heart attack does not always lead to death, most times it is really fatal. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. Women account for nearly half of all heart attack deaths because they are less likely to believe they are having a heart attack and more likely to delay in medical attention.

There are heart attacks that are silent and those that show warning signs. The silent heart attacks occur without symptoms and they are only detected or diagnosed afterwards with an electrocardiogram (EKG). Most heart attacks however occur with symptoms. More than two-thirds even start experiencing symptoms days or weeks before the heart attack.

Most symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Sweating and paleness
  • Malaise: a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness
  • Palpitations: awareness of the heart beating more rapidly, forcefully or irregularly
  • Restlessness or sense of impending doom
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • A typical chest pain or abdominal pain
  • Vague chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath and unexplained difficulty in breathing.
  • Severe chest pain: this is a major symptom of heart attack. It comes as pressure or a squeezing sensation which lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and then comes back. The pain usually occurs when an individual is resting or engaged in a mild physical activity. Although it feels like Angina (a severe pain in a person’s chest and left arm caused by heart disease) it is generally more severe, lasts 30 to 60 minutes unlike Angina, may spread widely to left and/or right arm, back, neck, jaw, teeth and throat. It cannot be relieved by rest and there may be little or no response to medications that would normally relieve Angina.

Heart attacks mostly occur between 6 to 10 am and it might be due to

  1. The higher amount of adrenaline in the blood early in the morning
  2. An increased systolic blood pressure
  3. Increased blood thickness.

What to do if you notice these warning signs?

If you notice one or more signs of a heart attack, contact a medical doctor. Notify someone around you to help you get to a hospital IMMEDIATELY.

It would be wise to have someone drive you to a hospital, don’t attempt to drive yourself.

If you notice or overhear someone complaining about these symptoms, help the person to a hospital and inform his family in case you aren’t one. The victim will need to provide a list of medications he’s taking and incase he can’t provide it, this is where the family comes in.

Crazy thing to do if you suspect you’re having a heart attack?

Chew an Aspirin tablet (Please NOTE that Aspirin is NOT THE SAME as Panadol or Paracetamol), pop it in your mouth and chew it, it takes just five minute to inhibit blood clotting and reduce damages from a heart attack.

No, I’m not wishing you or anyone you know a heart attack, but it’s wiser to know these things. So if you suspect anything or feel any of these symptoms, drag yourself to a hospital. If you hear a friend or relative complain, no matter how much they protest, drag them to a hospital. Most times these symptoms come and go and one would think he’s in the clear. Better to go for a checkup than ignore something as huge as a heart attack.

I am, @Lord__Nina

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