The number of heart attacks is increasing in our country each day. As most of us don't act quickly in the given situation, we end up losing our loved ones.
A normal person waits 3 hours before asking for help with symptoms of a heart attack. Many heart attack patients die before they reach the hospital. The sooner someone gets to the emergency room, the more likely they are to survive. Immediate medical treatment will reduce the risk of heart damage.
What causes a heart attack?
A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-carrying blood to the heart is blocked. The heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen and their functions start weakening.
Over time, the increase of fatty deposits, including cholesterol, leads to the formation of a substance called plaque that can narrow your arteries. This condition, known as coronary artery disease, is what causes most heart attacks.
Warning signs of a heart attack
Not everyone who has a heart attack has the same symptoms or the same severity of symptoms. Some people have mild pain whereas others may experience more pain. At times, some people show no symptoms and may strike all of a sudden.
Common symptoms include:
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Tightening of the chest (Angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden breakout with a cold sweat
- Feeling dizzy and unusually tired
- Nausea and vomiting
Heart attack first aid
If you think, someone is having a heart attack:
- Ask the person to sit down, rest, and try to stay calm.
- If the person is wearing tight clothes, loosen them.
- Ask the person if they are taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as nitroglycerin, for a known heart condition.
- If the pain does not go away immediately with rest or within 3 minutes of taking nitroglycerin, seek medical attention immediately.
- If the person passes out or does not respond, call your local medical emergency number and then begin CPR. In case a baby or child is unresponsive, perform one minute of CPR before calling the emergency number.
Many experts recommend chewing and swallowing a full dose of aspirin soon after calling 112 or the local emergency number. But one must only do this if they are not allergic to aspirin. Ask a doctor on The Wellness Corner to help you determine if you can take aspirin or not.
- Do not leave the person alone
- Do not allow the person to refuse the symptoms and convince you not to call for emergency help.
- Do not wait for the symptoms to go away, it can make the situation worse.
- Do not feed the person anything through the mouth unless it is a prescribed medicine.
When to contact a medical professional?
Immediately call the emergency number:
- If the person is irresponsive
- If the person is having trouble breathing
- If the person complains of sudden chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack
Lifestyle changes can prevent chances of heart attack
Making healthy changes in your life can control heart disease risk factors. Whenever possible; adults should take steps to control risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
- Quit smoking- According to studies, smoking can amplify the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.
- Get yourself checked and keep monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar level. If your doctor advises you to make changes in your routine, follow the instructions religiously.
- Lose weight if you are obese or overweight. Exercise regularly to improve heart health. Get a fitness plan curated on The Wellness Corner to drop the number on the weight scale effectively.
- Follow a heart-friendly diet. Cut down on saturated fats, red meats, and sugar. Increase the consumption of chicken, fish, low GI fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Consulting a dietitian and adhering to a healthy meal plan may help reduce your cardiac risk.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption. One drink a day has been linked to a reduction in the number of heart attacks, but two or more drinks a day can damage the heart and cause other troubles.