What To Do If You Think Youre Having A Heart Attack
If you are having any one of the symptoms described above that lasts for more than five minutes, seek emergency treatment without delay, says;Beniaminovitz. Early recognition and treatment of;heart;attack;symptoms can reduce the risk of;heart;damage and allow treatment to be started immediately. Even if youre not sure your symptoms are those of a;heart;attack, you should still be evaluated. After calling 911, emergency personnel may tell you to chew one full aspirin slowly, as long as you dont have a history of an aspirin allergy or bleeding. Beniaminovitz says that aspirin is especially effective if taken;within 30 minutes;after the start of your symptoms.
Cardiologists have a phrase they use often when it comes to acting fast: Time is muscle. It refers to the fact that the faster we can open the blocked artery, the less damage will be done to the heart, and the greater are the chances for survival in full, says cardiologist Dr. Regina Druz, MD, FACC.
What Happens After Therapeutic Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest
The medical team will carefully watch you. You will be in the intensive care unit. You may be on a ventilator to help with breathing. You may have various lines and tubes to support body functions.
People do not always respond right away to the procedure. It may take a couple of days. Healthcare providers often wait at least 3 days after the procedure to see how the cardiac arrest affected the brain. The procedure does not guarantee that you will regain brain function.
Some people do eventually wake up after therapeutic hypothermia. They may not have any lasting brain injury. Others might have some problems with thinking. They will need therapy. Sometimes, cardiac arrest may harm other organs, like the kidneys. You will need follow-up care.
Medical care will depend on the reason for the cardiac arrest and the degree of damage. Other health problems you have will also determine the care you need. You may need medicine, procedures, and physical therapy. Some people might need surgery for heart disease. Other people might need an automatic defibrillator. Almost everyone will need to stay in the hospital for a while. Talk with the healthcare provider about what to expect after the procedure.
There’s No Such Thing As Overreacting
Because of all the reasons you just learned about, it’s obvious why it’s critical to get to the hospital as fast as possible. As Dr. Ruthmann says, Time is tissue. Seek help at the first sign of chest pain or other symptoms and you may limit the damage to your heart . STEMI heart attackswhen an artery is completely blocked, and no blood or oxygen can reach your heartare particularly dangerous. Its the type of heart attack that can be rapidly fatal if not quickly treated. Nearly two out of five heart attacks fall into this category. You won’t know what type you’re having, which is why it’s important to get help ASAP.
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Symptoms To Look Out For
The start of a heart attack isnt always obvious or dramatic. A heart attack can often begin with subtle symptoms, and with mild discomfort versus full-on pain. Symptoms vary from person to person, and they can range in intensity. You might have just a handful of symptoms, or many.
The most common symptom is chest pain . This can be described as a heaviness, tightness, pressure, aching, burning, numbness, fullness or squeezing feeling that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back, says;cardiologist Dr. Amnon Beniaminovitz. It is sometimes mistakenly thought to be indigestion or heartburn.
Here are some other common symptoms to look out for:
- Pain in other areas of the body,;including the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Sweating or cold sweat
- Light-headedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety
- Rapid or irregular;heartbeats
Its important to note that there are some differences in heart attack symptoms when it comes to women, as they often dont experience the typical chest pain that men do. Women are slightly more likely than men to report unusual symptoms, says Beniaminovitz. Those who have more vague or less typical heart;symptoms have reported the following:
- Upper back or shoulder pain
- Jaw pain or pain spreading to the jaw
- Pressure or pain in the center of the chest
- Pain that spreads to the arm
- Unusual fatigue for several days
Treat Angina Symptoms Quickly
If angina occurs:
- Stop your activity. Sit down and rest.
- If you have nitroglycerin, place 1 nitroglycerin tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve, or spray the nitroglycerin under your tongue.
- Wait 5 minutes.
- If you are still experiencing angina after 5 minutes, call 9-1-1 to get emergency help. DO NOT DELAY.
- Due to the possible benefits of taking an aspirin early on during a heart attack, emergency personnel may tell you to chew an aspirin if there is no medical reason for you to avoid aspirin.
- Do not drive yourself to the hospital. In many cases, the emergency personnel can begin to give you heart-saving care right away.
- To prevent damage to your heart muscle, do not delay seeking medical treatment.
Remember, if prescribed, carry your nitroglycerin with you at all times.
- Nitroglycerin comes in tablet or spray forms.
- Nitroglycerin must be kept in a dark container.
- Keep it away from heat or moisture.
- Check the expiration date on the container.
- Once the container of nitroglycerin is opened, it must be replaced every six months
The following links can provide you with more information:
Other medications may be prescribed if needed. These include medications to treat irregular heartbeats, lower blood pressure, control angina and treat heart failure.
Check the drug search to find out about your medications.
It is important to know:
- The names of your medications
- What they are for
- How often and at what times to take them
You Start Feeling Symptoms
Men and women can experience very different heart attack symptoms. Chest pain is the most common symptom for both, but women tend to be more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and pain that radiates in the back and jaw. But, as far as what happens to the heart during a heart attack? Dr. Ruthmann asks before answering his own question. The heart muscle and heart cells are dying in the same way, whether you’re a man or a woman.
What Does A Heart Attack Feel Like
Some of the sensations you may feel during a heart attack include:
- Chest pain that can range from mild to severe, or an uncomfortable pressure, tightness, squeezing or heaviness in your chest. The discomfort can last more than a few minutes at a time and sometimes goes away for a short time but returns later.
- Pain or a sensation of being squeezed that starts in the upper back.
- Pain that starts from your left shoulder and arm, and goes into other areas such as your back, jaw, neck or right arm.
- Pain that feels like heartburn or indigestion.
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How Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Different From A Heart Attack
Sudden cardiac arrest is not a heart attack but can occur during a heart attack. Heart attacks occur when there is a blockage in one or more of the arteries to the heart, preventing the heart from receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. If the oxygen in the blood cannot reach the heart muscle, the heart becomes damaged.
In contrast, sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical system to the heart malfunctions and suddenly becomes very irregular. The heart beats dangerously fast. The ventricles may flutter or quiver , and blood is not delivered to the body. In the first few minutes, the greatest concern is that blood flow to the brain will be reduced so drastically that a person will lose consciousness. Death follows unless emergency treatment is begun immediately.
Emergency treatment includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation. CPR is a manual technique using repetitive pressing to the chest and breathing into the person’s airways that keeps enough oxygen and blood flowing to the brain until the normal heart rhythm is restored with an electric shock to the chest, a procedure called defibrillation. Emergency squads use portable defibrillators and frequently there are public access defibrillators in public locations that are intended to be available for use by citizens who observe cardiac arrest.
Focus On Physical Activity
Moving your body is important even in the first weeks after a heart attack. It helps you begin to strengthen your heart again. Cardiac rehab can help you get started, but activities like biking, brisk walking, and swimming have many long-term benefits. They can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and keep your weight down. Working out is also a great way to control stress, another key for a healthy heart.
Should I Avoid All Physical Activity
You may have enough energy for work and leisure, but its important to rest or take a short nap when you feel overly tired.
Its equally important to participate in social events and incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine.
Your doctor can provide guidance about whats best for your specific situation. Your doctor and cardiac rehabilitation team will give you an exercise prescription.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack
The major symptoms of a heart attack are
- Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
- Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.
Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms.;Learn more about women and heart disease.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.
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What Are The Risk Factors Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
There are many risk factors that can increase a person’s risk of sudden cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death, including the following:
- Previous heart attack with a large area of the heart damaged
- A person’s risk of SCD is higher during the first 6 months after a heart attack.
- Coronary artery disease
- Risk factors for coronary artery disease include smoking, hypertension, family history of heart disease, and high cholesterol.
Other risk factors of sudden cardiac arrest include:
What Causes Heart Attacks
All heart attacks occur when circulation of blood to the heart is blocked. If the blockage is not rapidly opened, heart tissue will die from a lack of oxygen.
Most often, a heart attack, also called myocardial infarction , is a result of coronary heart disease .Coronary heart disease is a narrowing of the coronary arteries, which bring blood into the heart muscle. Coronary is most often caused by , a buildup of fatty plaque on the artery walls.
Narrowed coronary arteries reduce blood flow to the heart muscle and can cause chest pain , especially during exercise or stress. In addition, form more easily in a narrowed artery damaged by fatty plaques. A blood clot can completely block blood flow, causing a heart attack and life-threatening heart damage. is not a heart attack, but if it does not go away with rest or after taking nitroglycerin, it is a sign of a developing .
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Heart Attack
A heart attack is a life threatening medical condition in which the blood flowing to the heart suddenly stops due to a blocked coronary artery. Damage to surrounding tissues occurs immediately.
Recovering from a heart attack ultimately depends on the severity of the condition as well as how quickly its treated.
Immediately after the event, you can expect to stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days, or until your condition is stable.
Overall, it takes several weeks and possibly up to several months to recover from a heart attack. Your individual recovery is dependent on:
- your overall condition
Despite its name, a widowmaker heart attack can affect women, too.
With this type of heart attack, you may be in the hospital for a few extra days, especially if you need to have surgery to open up the LAD artery.
A low-fat, low-calorie diet has been proven to help prevent the risk of a heart attack. However, if youve already had a heart attack, eating right is simply a must to help prevent future occurrences.
One helpful eating plan is called the dietary approaches to stop hypertension, or DASH.
The overall goal of this diet is to limit sodium, red meat, and saturated fats while focusing on potassium-rich sources of fruits and vegetables, along with lean meats, fish, and plant oils.
The Mediterranean diet is similar to DASH in that they both emphasize plant-based foods.
Overall, aim to:
Chances Of Surviving A Massive Heart Attack
In cases of a heart attack, time is the most vital factor. Even a fraction of minutes can turn out to be very critical for the patients leading to death. The person if admitted in emergency departments has a higher chance of survival than the patient who does not receive medical attention and can get a sudden cardiac arrest and die within minutes. However, survival chances may depend on the following factors:
- Extent of damage to the cardiac tissue
- Rapid and quality of treatment
- Quick opening of the artery within the first 6 hours
- Risk of death increases with age
- Medical history also matters
- Chances of survival increases after 48 hours pass
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After You Leave The Hospital
A patients treatment doesnt end once theyre discharged. Theyll undergo follow-up appointments with their doctor and plenty of education about what led to the heart attack and how best to treat it.
Theyll also likely undergo a cardiac rehabilitation program, an exercise program involving treadmill or stationary bike usage while wearing a heart monitor so specialists can monitor your EKG levels and your vital signs.
Its a major event in their life and they have to go through a psychological recovery as much as a physical recovery, Dr. Asfour says.
Depending on the damage incurred to the heart, patients can generally return to normal activities – unless those normal activities including smoking, being sedentary or eating lots of unhealthy, fried foods.
I ask patients to own it, in a sense, Dr. Asfour explains. To learn about it, be their own advocate. I dont just want them to be receiving pills and doing whatever I tell them. I want them to challenge the status quo. To be more active in their own care.
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.
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Heart Attack Recovery: Duration Diet And Mor
Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, Chugh said, which happens when there are blockages in the blood vessels that nourish your heart. A heart attack can sometimes trigger an. Heart attack is a serious, sudden heart condition usually characterized by varying degrees of chest pain or discomfort, weakness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and arrhythmias, sometimes causing loss of consciousness. It occurs when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted, causing death and scarring of the local heart tissue
What Is A Mild Heart Attack
A mild heart attack affects a relatively small portion of the heart muscle, or does not cause much permanent heart damage. This is because the blockage in a coronary artery occurs in a small artery that supplies a small portion of the heart muscle; does not completely block blood flow to the heart; or lasts briefly.
It is a common misconception that a mild heart attack is not serious. Even if the area of the heart affected is small, a heart attack can result in permanent heart damage and life-threatening problems that affect you for the rest of your life, including heart failure, an abnormal heart beat , and a higher risk of a second heart attack.
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Heart Attack Vs Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest is slightly different than a heart attack. While a heart attack is due to blood flow blockage to the heart, a cardiac arrest occurs;when the heart malfunctions and stops beating.;This is when quick and dramatic oxygen deprivation affects the electricity of the heart and;makes it stop, says Petre. Life hangs on a thin thread.
For cardiac arrest, an electrical shock or adequate life support within minutes is the only way to survive, and permanent damage can occur in a matter of minutes. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack or during recovery, as heart attacks increase the risk of cardiac arrestalthough most heart attacks do not ultimately lead to cardiac arrest.