You Or A Love One Having A Heart Attack? Do These Immediately!
Numbers don’t lie. Heart attack kills one individual every 40 seconds in the US alone. In fact, CDC reported that the annual heart attack sufferers in the country numbers to a whopping 790,000 — over 500,000 are first-time attacks while the rest happen to those who already went through their first myocardial infarction.
But no matter how prevalent heart attacks are, people don’t usually give it a bigger regard.
According to statistics, most people who experience the symptoms of a heart attack would usually wait three hours before getting help. Stats also show that a lot of heart attack patients die before they even reach the hospital. Doctors and other medical experts couldn’t stress out enough how important immediate action is when it comes to these conditions.
Remember that most heart attack victims are middle-aged and older. Heart attack risks climb up for men once they reach 45; for women, 55.
So, if you or a loved one fall within these age brackets, it’s better to be ready than be sorry later on. Below are the things you can do when you suspect you or your loved one are coming down with a heart attack.
Know The Symptoms
Yes, it’s good that you know the classic symptoms of heart attacks:
- Extreme chest pains (described as pressing, squeezing or very heavy) usually felt at the left or the center part of the chest. These last for about 20 minutes and could radiate to the jaw, neck or the upper part of the left arm
- Severe sweating and the feeling that something bad is going to happen (that’s you’re instinct telling you that your body’s not well)
“90% of those who suffer from heart attacks experience the normal symptoms,” said one Singaporean doctor. “However, there are those experience the non-classical symptoms. These groups of people included the elderly, women, and the diabetics.”
Non-classical heart attack signs include:
- Extreme fatigue weeks or days before the attack happens (accordingly, about 70% of women who had heart attacks experienced draining exhaustion that even getting up to cook meals were a pain).
- Mild chest pains
- Nausea, dizziness, and vomiting
- Pain right in the middle of the abdomen
Call 911 ASAP!
Don’t stall or consult Google just because you’re unsure if you or a loved one is having a heart attack.
“Most people spend about ten minutes going through Google to see if the symptoms they feel are enough to call in emergency help, but that shouldn’t be. Your heart tissue is dying, so every second count. The earlier the EMS arrives, the better as they can give you treatment even while on the way to the hospital,” said Dr. Martha Gulati, a cardiologist and the editor-in-chief of cardiosmart.org.
“It’s better to side with safety,” seconded an emergency responder.
Wait For Help To Arrive; Don’t Drive Or Let Someone Drive You To It
While our initial reaction at the onset of heart attack is to drive (or get your loved one) to the nearest ER, DON’T DO IT or even have someone do it for you! The best thing to do is call for help and wait for the emergency responders to arrive. Driving a car yourself while suffering a myocardial infraction puts you at risk of falling unconscious on the way. There are also reports of some heart attack sufferers dying just before they arrive at a medical facility.
“Emergency responders are trained to dole out treatments even while you’re still on the way to the hospital,” assured one doctor.
Ease The Strain
If you or a loved one are experiencing a heart attack (or you think you are), sit up, bend your knees and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Loosen up clothing articles that could impede breathing like neckties, tight collars, even the waistbands of tight pants. It’s also best to keep a calm and sound mind above all else as hyperventilating can put more pressure on the already ailing heart.
When assisting a loved one you believe is going through a heart attack, try to act as calm as possible so as not to agitate the sufferer.
Chew On Aspirin
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug and can be used as a blood thinner. It slows down blood clotting and minimizes muscular damage at the onset of a heart attack.
So, if you think you’re having a heart attack (or suspect someone is experiencing one), chew on one 300-milligram aspirin tablet. Chewing is vital as it allows the medication to quickly dissolve and be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Remember, when it comes to heart attacks, every second count. Stop second-guessing and seek help for yourself or your loved one immediately.