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What Are The Signs That I May Have Developed A Heart Problem After Covid

Cardiologist Answers Heart Attack FAQs

There are many symptoms reported in the post-COVID period, and there are multiple potential causes for these symptoms, says Post.

Severe fatigue is common after infection with the coronavirus, just as it is after any serious illness. Many people experience shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations. Any of these problems could be related to the heart, but they could also be due to other factors, including the aftermath of being very ill, prolonged inactivity and spending weeks convalescing in bed, she says. ;

POTS after COVID-19. People recovering from the coronavirus sometimes show symptoms of a condition known as POTS . Researchers are exploring whether or not there is a link.

POTS isnt directly a cardiac problem, but a neurologic one that affects the part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate and blood flow. The syndrome can cause rapid heartbeats when you stand up, which can lead to brain fog, fatigue, palpitations, lightheadedness and other symptoms.

How Is A Heart Attack Treated

Heart attack is most often treated with medicine or nonsurgical procedures that break up blood clots and restore normal blood flow to the heart. Some treatments will start right away, when the ambulance comes. You will get other treatments later, in the hospital.

Getting treatment right away for a heart attack can help prevent or limit damage to your heart muscle. This is one reason why it is important to call 911 if you think you are having a heart attack, rather than driving yourself to the hospital.

What About Heart Problems In Children After Covid

In general, children who get sick with the coronavirus do not have serious problems as often as adults do. But a very rare complication of COVID-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, can cause serious heart damage, cardiogenic shock or death.

Children who survive MIS-C can be left with abnormal heart rhythms and stiffened heart muscle that prevents the heart from relaxing normally and beating properly. MIS-C has some similar characteristics to Kawasaki disease.

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Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

SCAD is a type of heart attack that happens when the inner lining of a coronary artery tears for no clear reason, slowing or blocking blood flow down the artery.

SCAD can occur in otherwise healthy people who do not have the typical risk factors of heart disease. And according to an article in Clinical Cardiology , about 90% of SCADs happen to women between the age of 30 and 60.

Waiting For An Ambulance

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It may be helpful to take an aspirin tablet, ideally 300 milligrams, while waiting for an ambulance. A person can take an aspirin tablet if they do not have an allergy to it and if a doctor or member of the emergency services team has recommended it.

Aspirin is a blood-thinning medication that may help restore some blood flow to the heart.

A person should make sure that they have taken any prescribed heart medication as instructed while they are waiting for the ambulance to arrive. These medications may include nitroglycerin or beta-blockers.

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Can Heart Problems Show Up Long After Covid

If you have had COVID-19, recovered and feel all right now, should you worry? Are heart problems likely to show up later on?

Post emphasizes that many of these questions do not have clear answers yet. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated in 2019, and the vast majority of COVID-19 survivors have only been recovering for several months. It is hard to know exactly how the disease will affect peoples hearts long term, and this is just one area of intense concern among researchers.

She mentions that the National Institutes of Health is working with dozens of academic medical institutions to track COVID-19 survivors health. Study groups, such as one called C4R, are consolidating patient data to help predict the long-term impact of the coronavirus on health and continuing care.

Take The Ehac Oath With Us

We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together.

I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if happens to me or anyone I know I will call 9-1-1 or activate Emergency Medical Services.

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When Chest Pains Are Serious

Unlike an achy knee or crabby lower back, chest pain isn’t something to shrug off until tomorrow. It also isn’t something to diagnose at home. Don’t play doctor go see one, fast, if you are worried about pain or discomfort in your chest, upper back, left arm, or jaw; or suddenly faint or develop a cold sweat, nausea, or vomiting. Call 911 or your local emergency number to summon an emergency medical crew. It will whisk you to the hospital in a vehicle full of equipment that can start the diagnosis and keep you stable if your heart really is in trouble.

There are oh-so-many reasons to delay calling for help.

  • I’m too young .
  • I’m in great shape .
  • I have a family to take care of .
  • I don’t want to bother anyone .

Preventing A Heart Attack

What Does Chest Pain From a Heart Attack Feel Like?

There are 5 main steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a heart attack :

  • smokers should quit smoking
  • lose weight if you’re overweight or obese
  • do regular exercise adults should do at least 150 minutes of;moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, unless advised otherwise by the doctor in charge of your care
  • eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including wholegrains and at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • moderate your alcohol consumption

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Arm Back Neck Jaw Or Stomach Pain Or Discomfort

Heart attack pain may not be confined to the chest area. Pain or discomfort in your arm, back, neck, jaw, or stomach can also be heart attack-related.

But many people do not associate pain in these areas with having a heart attack which may prevent them from getting immediate medical attention.

Some head-to-toe signs of a heart attack include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Jaw, neck, or back pain
  • Arm or shoulder pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath

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Common Reasons You Might Feel Heart Palpitations

Most of the time when people feel palpitations, their heart is not doing anything bad, Dr. Doshi says. There are tons of reasons your heart can go a little wonky, and most of them are nothing to worry about.

According to Dr. Doshi, heart palpitations are most often caused by increases in adrenaline or things that require your heart to work harder than usual. According to the Mayo Clinic, some examples include:

  • Youve had a ton of caffeine
  • Youre taking medication that contains stimulants
  • Youre doing a tough workout or just finished one
  • Youre pregnant, which causes your blood volume to go up and your heart has to work harder to pump the extra fluid

As you can see, a lot of these really common causes are nothing to worry aboutyour heart is just doing its thing and youre more aware of it than you normally would be.

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When Should I See A Doctor

Its important not to ignore symptoms and wait until they become severe. If you have a concern, talk to your doctor. If heart disease is caught early, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of further problems: eat a;healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, get regular;exercise , maintain a healthy weight, drink alcohol in moderation , and dont smoke.

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Let’s Win This Together

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Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Support the innovative research, education and prevention services that protect the women we love.

Weve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.

Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesnt get help right away.

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What Should I Do If I Think Im Having A Heart Attack

The first thing you must do is dial 999 immediately for an ambulance.;Dont worry if youre not completely sure whether your symptoms are a heart attack, its really important that you seek medical attention regardless as quickly as possible.;

Next, you should:

  • take a 300mg aspirin if you have one within arms reach
  • stay calm and wait for the paramedics.

People often dismiss that theyre having a heart attack and will delay seeking medical attention.;If youre with someone whos experiencing heart attack symptoms but theyre putting off or refusing to call an ambulance, its really important that you call one for them.;

Why The First Hours Are Critical

For anyone having a heart attack, getting rapid medical attention is absolutely critical. Both the short-term and the long-term consequences of a heart attack are largely determined by how much of the heart muscle dies. With rapid and aggressive medical treatment, the blocked artery can usually be opened quickly, thus preserving most of the heart muscle.

If treatment is delivered within three or four hours, much of the permanent muscle damage can be avoided. But if treatment is delayed beyond five or six hours, the amount of heart muscle that can be saved drops off significantly. After about 12 hours, the damage is often irreversible.

Cardiac arrests can occur within the first few hours of a heart attack or during recovery. If a cardiac arrest occurs in the hospital, there is an excellent chance it can be treated. Unfortunately, the risk of sudden cardiac arrest is heightened after a heart attack, especially within the first year.

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What Causes A Heart Attack

Coronary artery disease causes most heart attacks. In people with CAD, plaque builds up on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This is called atherosclerosis .

Plaque can build up in fatty clumps or in a thin, smooth layer. Both types are dangerous. The plaque can break open or wear down, causing blood to clump together in that area. If a clot blocks blood flow to the heart, it can cause a heart attack.

This picture shows how CAD causes a heart attack. Plaque builds up in an artery of the heart, and a blood clot forms. The clot blocks blood flow to part of the heart, and the heart muscle begins to die.

A heart attack can also happen if the artery pinches itself closed. This is called a coronary spasm. Coronary spasms are rare. They happen more often in young women than in older women or men.

Learn more about CAD.

Coronary And Carotid Arteries

How to Avoid a Heart Attack During Christmas

Treating the underlying condition is thought to be the biggest factor in stent success or failure. While clots and scar tissue can form, re-narrowing is most likely to occur in other spots along these arteries.

For these stents to succeed, its vital to reduce future plaque buildup in the arteries around the stents.

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Get The Heart Care You Need When You Need It

Each year about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack, and about 655,000 die of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means heart disease is responsible for one in every four deaths, making it the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Remember, if you think youre having a heart attack:

  • Chew one adult-strength aspirin to help keep your blood from clotting.
  • Stay on the phone with the emergency operator as you wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself to the hospital.

A heart attack can be a scary experience. But remember that were here for you, and comprehensive heart care and recovery options are never far away.

Breaking Out In A Cold Sweat

Another common symptom is finding yourself breaking out in a cold sweat. The reason behind this symptom is that when you have clogged arteries, your heart requires more effort to pump blood, and sweating keeps your bodys temperature down during this extra effort.

For women, this means night sweats may not just be the result of menopause. They might also be a sign of heart problems.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to consult your physician. Dont wait until it becomes urgent.

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Classic Signs Of A Heart Attack

These are the most commonly expected symptoms of heart attack. If you suddenly experience these symptoms, call 911 or get to your nearest emergency room immediately:

  • chest pain, pressure or discomfort that lasts for several minutes or disappears, then returns
  • pain or discomfort that affects either or both arms
  • back, neck or jaw discomfort
  • stomach pain or discomfort
  • feeling fatigued
  • sweating

If you notice any or all of these symptoms, call 911 and seek emergency medical care immediately, even if you arent experiencing chest pain.

Facts About Chest Pain

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Understanding chest pain can help you beat it

    Have you ever felt a sharp pain in your chest and were convinced you were having a heart attack? Maybe you even went to the emergency room or called your doctor only to find out that your “heart attack” was actually a strained muscle. Or maybe you were absolutely positive your chest pain was just heartburn, but it turned out to be a heart attack after all.

    The truth is, it’s not easy to tell what’s behind your chest pain and whether the cause is life-threatening or just a nuisance. So we spoke to interventional cardiologist Gary Schaer, MD, from Rush who shared five things everyone should know about chest pain.

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    Is It Normal To Feel So Depressed

    Heart attack patients will feel a wide range of emotions, typically for about two to six months after the event. Depression;is quite normal, along with fear and anger. For example, every time you feel a little pain, you may feel afraid its going to happen again afraid youre going to die. Thats normal and will begin to pass as time goes by. You may be angry that this happened, and youre probably feeling irritated and have a short fuse with others. Resentment is common after a heart attack. Try to understand that your family and friends are just as worried as you are. Although depression is normal after a heart attack, if it interferes with sleeping, eating, self-esteem, or if you have thoughts of suicide, you should talk to your doctor and those close to you about your feelings. Dont be afraid to ask for help. Recovery is much faster with a trusted support team of healthcare professionals, family and friends.

    How To Tell If Chest Pain Is Serious

    Some types of chest pain should send you to the emergency room particularly if it lasts for at least five minutes.

    Symptoms could include new or unexplained chest pain coupled with shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea, fatigue or lightheadedness. Aside from your chest, the pain, pressure or discomfort also may radiate to your:

    • Arms.
    • Neck.
    • Upper stomach.

    Lasting and unrelenting pain in these areas may signal a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, says Dr. Rimmerman. Call 911 to seek immediate treatment to save heart muscle.

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    Is A Heart Attack More Likely After Covid

    That depends: Post says that heart attack has several different forms. A type 1 heart attack, caused by a blood clot blocking one of the hearts arteries, is rare during or after COVID-19 infection.

    Type 2 heart attacks are more common with COVID-19, she says. This heart attack can be caused by increased stress on the heart, such as a fast heartbeat, low blood oxygen levels or anemia, because the heart muscle isnt getting enough oxygen delivered in the blood in order do this extra work. We have seen this in people with acute coronavirus disease, but it is less common in those who have survived the illness.

    Blood tests have shown that during COVID-19, some people have elevated levels of a substance called troponin in their blood, along with EKG changes and chest pain. Elevated troponin levels are a sign of damaged heart tissue. Sometimes this is from a heart attack. This is less commonly seen after COVID-19.

    During acute COVID-19, elevated troponin levels with an abnormal EKG are linked to higher mortality, but not in patients with a normal EKG, Post says.

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