Waiting For An Ambulance
If you have had a heart attack, it’s important that you rest while you wait for an ambulance, to avoid unnecessary strain on your heart.
If aspirin is available and you are not allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-size tablet while you wait for the ambulance.
Aspirin helps to thin your blood and improve blood flow to your heart.
Pneumonia And Heart Failure
Chest radiograph generally is considered the reference standard for patients suspected of having pneumonia, and it is the standard against which clinical evaluations for pneumonia are compared.10 An abnormal ECG and cardiomegaly on chest radiograph increase the likelihood of heart failure among patients with chest pain,26 and brain natriuretic peptide level has been found to be reliable for detecting heart failure in patients presenting with acute dyspnea. Brain natriuretic peptide level is particularly helpful for ruling in heart failure if it is more than 500 pg per mL , and for ruling out heart failure if it is less than 100 pg per mL .14,37
Q How Long Do I Need To Rest After A Cardiac Arrest
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Q Do All Heart Attacks Have The Same Symptoms
Q Can Stress Cause Heart Attack
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/6case Study Of Less Obvious Symptoms
John, a 62-year-old lorry driver, shared his experience of having a heart attack and not even realizing it, via Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland . It was while driving in Scotland that John felt hot and sweaty for a few minutes.
It was a feeling Ive never had before, he said. He pulled over his lorry and took a break for 20 minutes. Soon he felt completely fine and began driving again.
It was a year later that a doctor told John that what he had experienced was in fact a heart attack.
When To Seek Emergency Care For Heart Disease
If you think you may be having a heart attack, dial 911. Along with chest pain, heart attack symptoms may include:
- A feeling of unease or impending doom
- Pain in the arms, chest, shoulders, back, neck, or jaw
If you do experience a heart attack, the faster you can get medical care, the better.
Heart attacks happen every 43 seconds, on average in the United States. Keep in mind though, that heart disease is often preventable and treatable. If you think you are at risk of developing heart disease or have symptoms, the sooner you can speak to a medical professional, the more likely you will be able to avoid a heart attack.
Dignity Health provides personal care and treatment for heart disease. Find a Doctor to check your risk factors.
The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.
Will I Have To Take Medicine For The Rest Of My Life
If you have had a heart attack, your doctor will probably want you to take certain medicines for a long time. This can help reduce your risk of more heart problems. Your doctor can answer your questions about these medicines. They can tell you the benefits and risks of taking them.
- Aspirin can reduce the risk of another heart attack. For patients who have had a heart attack, a low dose of aspirin each day can keep your blood from forming clots that can eventually block the arteries. However, a daily dose of aspirin may not be right for everyone. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of aspirin therapy.
- Antiplatelet medicines also help stop blood clots from forming. These drugs are especially important to take for at least a year if you have had a stent placed in your heart.
- Beta blockers are a group of drugs that lower the heart rate and blood pressure. They help improve blood flow to the heart.
- ACE inhibitors are a group of drugs that can help if your heart is not pumping blood well. This medicine helps open your arteries and lower your blood pressure. This improves blood flow.
- Statins are a group of drugs that are used to control cholesterol. They lower bad cholesterol levels and may help increase good cholesterol .
Q What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack
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Angina And Heart Attacks
Angina is a syndrome caused by the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart becoming restricted.
People with angina can experience similar symptoms to a heart attack, but they usually happen during exercise and pass within a few minutes.
However, occasionally, people with angina can have a heart attack. It’s important to recognise the difference between the symptoms of angina and those of a heart attack. The best way to do this is to remember that the symptoms of angina can be controlled with medicine, but symptoms of a heart attack cannot.
If you have angina, you may have been prescribed medicine that improves your symptoms within 5 minutes. If the first dose does not work, a second dose can be taken after 5 minutes, and a third dose after a further 5 minutes.
If the pain persists, despite taking 3 doses of glyceryl trinitrate over 15 minutes, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Page last reviewed: 28 November 2019 Next review due: 28 November 2022
/6what Happens In A Heart Attack
A heart attack happens when the supply of blood to your heart is blocked, often by a clot. One of the most common and widely known signs of heart attack is chest pain, characterized by a feeling of pressure, tightness or squeezing in your chest. This sensation usually starts in the middle of your chest and can travel to other body parts, such as neck, jaw, ears, arms and/or wrists.
However, chest pain is not the only symptom of having a heart attack and sometimes people may experience milder and less obvious signs that may not immediately strike to them as a heart attack.
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How A Heart Attack Is Diagnosed
Utilizing Blood Tests, ECG, and Imaging Studies
A heart attack, referred to medically as myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart suddenly slows or stops, causing damage to the heart muscle. Roughly 735,000 heart attacks occur in the United States each year. Of these, around 26% of women and 19% of men will die as a result of the event within a year, according to the American Heart Association .
Knowing the signs and obtaining a timely diagnosis can increase your chances of survival and recovery.
What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Strokes In Dogs
Inability to walk, Head tilt, abnormal eye movements, abnormal eye positioning, loss of consciousness, abnormal behavior, falling to one side, and blindness are the main symptoms of strokes in dogs. Keeping a close eye on these symptoms and timely treatment can be a boon in giving your dog a quality life. There are a few underlying diseases like kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, bleeding disorders, hypothyroidism, and cancer that can lead to strokes in dogs. Apart from the diseases, high doses of steroids in some cases can lead to a stroke too.
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Treatment And Medication Options For A Heart Attack
Once you arrive at a hospital after experiencing heart attack symptoms, doctors will confirm a heart attack through a combination of heart monitoring, blood tests, and imaging tests.
You may be started right away on an intravenous clot-busting drug, which will help dissolve the blood clot that caused your heart attack.
More commonly, you will undergo a procedure to open up your blocked artery and keep it open, known as coronary angioplasty and stenting.
What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Attack
Several health conditions, your lifestyle, and your age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease and heart attack. These are called risk factors. About half of all Americans have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking.2
Some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history. But you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.
Learn more about risk factors for heart disease and heart attack.
/6symptoms May Vary In Men And Women
The common symptoms associated with heart attack may vary in men and women. Women are slightly less likely to feel chest pain compared to men and are more likely to experience the other above mentioned signs. Heart attack is a medical emergency and you should immediately call an ambulance if you or anyone around you experiences a heart attack.
What Does Depression Have To Do With A Heart Attack
Depression is common after a heart attack. As many as 1 out of every 3 people who have had a heart attack report feelings of depression. People with a higher risk of depression after a heart attack include:
- People who have had depression before
- People who feel alone and without social or emotional support
Many people who have depression dont recognize it. They dont seek help or get treatment. Being depressed can make it harder for you to recover physically. Depression can be treated.
Some people have anxiety after a heart attack, fearing it will happen again. Talk to your doctor about your feelings so that you can manage or reduce your anxiety.
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Complications From A Heart Attack
Potential complications from a heart attack can vary widely. They can range from mild to life-threatening.
Some people experience a “minor” heart attack with no associated complications. This is also known as an uncomplicated heart attack.
Other people experience a major heart attack, which has a wide range of potential complications. This may require extensive treatment.
How Is A Heart Attack Treated
Quick treatment to get the blood flowing to your heart muscle again is important. This can reduce the amount of permanent damage to your heart and save your life.
Many people need to have emergency treatment to restore the blood flow:
- Coronary angioplasty re-opens the blocked coronary artery by inserting one or more stents. This helps keep the narrowed artery open.
- Thrombolysis involves giving you clot-busting medicine to dissolve the blood clot that’s blocking the coronary artery.
- Coronary bypass surgery helps to restore normal blood flow by using a blood vessel from your leg, arm or chest in your heart to bypass the blocked artery.
You might not have these treatments if your doctor decides it’s not safe or necessary.
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Is A Cardiac Arrest The Same Thing As A Heart Attack
A cardiac arrest and a heart attack are both medical emergencies. However, they are not the same thing, and sometimes a heart attack can progress into a cardiac arrest.
During a cardiac arrest, the electrical system that controls your heart rate and rhythm stops working, and the heart stops beating.
When someone has a cardiac arrest, they experience different symptoms and receive different treatments to someone who has a heart attack.
Someone having a cardiac arrest will collapse and have no pulse. They may not breathe properly, or maybe not at all, and they will lose consciousness.
If someone has a cardiac arrest, they need help immediately. Call 000 for an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, begin chest compressions , or use a device called a defibrillator, if available. Once the person gets to hospital, a medical team will treat them.
When Should I See My Doctor
If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile, try calling 112. Early treatment could save a life.
See your doctor regularly to manage your general health, test for heart disease risk factors and help you take steps to prevent a heart attack.
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Q If I Am On Medication To Treat Heart Disease Does That Mean I Am No Longer At Risk Of A Heart Attack
Q How Is Smoking Related To A Heart Attack
- Lack of oxygen supply to the heart
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
- Clotting of blood.
- Damage to cells that line coronary arteries and other blood vessels.
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Angina Vs Heart Attack
Chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle is called angina. Its a common symptom of heart disease. There are two main types of angina:
- stable angina, the most common type of angina and one that is predictable often occurring with physical exertion or stress
- unstable angina, which is unpredictable and should be treated as a medical emergency
An angina attack can feel like a heart attack, and in many cases especially with unstable angina it can be hard to tell angina from an actual heart attack.
If you have stable angina thats brought on with exertion and eases with rest, you may assume a sudden but brief bout of chest pain is only an angina attack. If chest pain doesnt subside with rest or comes and goes for a period of 10 minutes or more, you may be having a heart attack.
Talking with your doctor about how to manage your angina will help you better understand the difference between angina and heart attack symptoms, and help prepare you if your chest pain is actually a symptom of a heart attack.
The leading cause of heart attacks is coronary heart disease. This is where plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The general buildup of plaque in the arteries is also known as atherosclerosis.
There are two main types of heart attack.
In type II heart attacks the heart does not receive as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, but there is not a complete blockage of an artery.
Other causes of heart attacks include:
Types And Prognosis Of Heart Attack
Heart attacks are divided into types based on severity.
STEMI Heart Attack This is the deadliest type of heart attack. It happens when a coronary artery is completely blocked.
STEMI is short for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. This refers to changes that can be seen on an ECG or EKG.
Sometimes called a massive heart attack, a STEMI heart attack causes significantly reduced blood flow to the heart. As a result, areas of the heart muscle quickly begin to die.
NSTEMI Heart Attack This type of heart attack happens when blood flow to your heart through a coronary artery is severely restricted but may not be entirely blocked.
NSTEMI stands for non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction.
Silent Heart Attack Some people have a heart attack with mild, brief symptoms or even no noticeable symptoms at all, which is why its known as a silent heart attack.
Although they dont involve severe symptoms, silent heart attacks are far from harmless. They can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle.
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