If you were to suffer a heart attack while in the company of people, calling out for help is probably the first instinctive thing you’d do. But what if a heart attack happened when you’re alone, would you likely survive it??? The answer may surprise you.
Knowing the symptoms of heart attack:
To know if you’re suffering from a heart attack you first need to be able to identify its symptoms. Classical symptoms of heart attack include:
Severe chest pain (like squeezing, or a heaviness or pressing) at the central or left part of chest, lasting usually for atleast 20 min. The pain may also radiate to left upper arm, neck or jaw.
Profuse sweating and a feeling of impending doom.
“About 90 percent of heart attack sufferers from classical symptoms; However the elderly , females and those suffering from diabetes may develop non-classical heart attack symptoms these include:
Shortness of breath
Mild chest pain
Pain in the epigastric region ( upper central portion of the abdomen.
What to do when a heart attack occurs:
Should you experience a heart attack, regardless of you’re alone or in the presence of others-the very first thing to do is to call for emergency medical help. you need specialized treatment to be delivered to you as quickly as possible in order to save your heart muscle.
“Should you be alone when heart attack occurs, stop whatever you’re doing and proceed to a safe place for rest and call for medical help. For example if you’re driving, first pull to the side of the road and call for aid.
What could you do while waiting for medical help to arrive:
Large studies have also shown that taking an aspirin-the most commonly taken blood thinning medication in the world-during heart attack improves survival.
Most cases of heart attack are caused by blood clot forming in one of the blood vessel responsible for supplying blood to the heart.
The resulting blockage deprives the heart of oxygen- rich blood causing damage to heart muscle, which progressively dies.
Taking an aspirin during a heart attack may help as it prevents the clot from getting bigger, giving the body a chance to breakdown the blood clot.
If you have aspirin at home, and you know you’re not allergic to it, then you could consider taking it while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive.
What does NOT improve survival during a heart attack?
Could taking nitroglycerin-a prescribed medication that temporarily widen blood vessel to improve blood supply to heart-also help?
“Nitroglycerin has not been shown to prevent heart attack or improve survival substantially during an attack. it is more useful for patients with angina , an altogether different condition where patient experience chest pain or discomfort when exerting themselves.
Angina results from imbalance in supply and demand for blood to the heart, but it is due to narrowed blood vessel and not to a clot that needs to be broken down. Taking nitroglycerin during such a situation may temporarily expand the narrowed blood vessel and relieve discomfort.
Coughing repeatedly, also unlikely to help in case of heart attack
As for self administered “treatments” such as coughing repeatedly or applying pressure on the chest area during heart attack are probably just urban legends.
“In rare cases where the heart beat is very slow from an abnormal reflex mechanism, coughing may help restore normal heart rhythm-but this is not what happens in a heart attack”.
Similarly applying pressure on chest area during heart attack is unlikely to help unless the person’s heart has stopped beating (also known as cardiac arrest). When this happens, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) administered ideally by someone who is trained to do so.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: It is an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in a cardiac arrest.
What you can do to prevent heart attack:
Eat to be your best: Add plenty of fruits and veggies, grains and foods rich in omega-3-fatty acids like fresh tuna or herring to your diet. Cut down on salt, saturated fats, sweets and meat.
Take it easy: Finds a relaxation method that works for you. Yoga, meditation, dedicated time to unwind after work-these can help keep your stress levels down. Stress full emotions such as anger and hostility may lead to heart attack risk, so keep calm and be cool.
Ban smoking, if you never started smoking, that’s perfect. If u already quit, excellent. If you still smoke stop. Talk to your doctor to find out what method will work best for you.
Keep tabs on your blood pressure: if it’s too high your risk for heart attack and heart diseases goes up. Healthy diet and regular exercise can help you to manage your blood pressure.
Mind your blood sugar: Too much sugar in your blood may damage your arteries even if you don’t have diabetes. Work with your doctor to control your levels. that may lower your chance of having a heart attack.
Be smart about cholesterol: when blood flows through the heart it can drop traces of cholesterol, fat and calcium creating a buildup of plaque in your arteries. Too much of that plaque makes heart attack more likely.