When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Does not respond to you
- Is not breathing
Adults should take steps to control heart disease risk factors whenever possible.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking more than doubles the chance of developing heart disease.
- Keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes in good control and follow your health care provider’s orders.
- Lose weight if obese or overweight.
- Get regular exercise to improve heart health.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Limit saturated fats, red meat, and sugars. Increase your intake of chicken, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Your provider can help you tailor a diet specific to your needs.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. One drink a day is associated with reducing the rate of heart attacks, but two or more drinks a day can damage the heart and cause other medical problems.
What Causes Heart Attacks
The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease. This is where fatty deposits, cholesterol and other substances build up in the walls of the coronary arteries that supply oxygen to the heart. Over time, this build-up hardens into plaque that can break off at any time and cause a blood clot which blocks the artery.
In some cases, heart attacks have another cause:
- Coronary artery spasm is an unusual narrowing of blood vessels that can stop blood flow to the heart.
- Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a sudden tear in the wall of a coronary artery, which can also affect people who have few risk factors for heart disease.
Certain lifestyle factors are shown to increase your chances of heart disease and having a heart attack.
What To Do When 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.
If youre not sure its a heart attack, dont ignore your symptoms. Call for help anyway. If you are having a heart attack, the sooner you get to the hospital, the sooner your care team can work to restore blood flow and reduce further heart damage.
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Quick Action Can Save Your Life: Call 911
If you think you or someone else may be having heart attack symptoms or a heart attack, don’t ignore it or feel embarrassed to call for help. . Acting fast can save your life.
Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. Take a nitroglycerin pill if your doctor has prescribed this type of treatment.
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.
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Don’t Attempt To Drive The Person To The Hospital
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Why? You will get the fastest possible treatment by calling the emergency hotline because response teams will start treatment as soon as they arrive at the door. What’s equally important, first responders know, in real time, which nearby emergency room is best prepared to handle the situation.
How Will I Know If Someone Is Having A Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when the heart cant get enough oxygen. A lack of oxygen causes the heart muscle to die. The most common symptom is . But this is only half the story. Sometimes people can have other symptoms withor withoutchest pain including:
Any type of or pressure, such as squeezing or achiness
Feeling queasy or throwing up
Looking white as a ghost
or feeling unusually tired
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What A Mild Heart Attack Means
A mild heart attack is a common way of referring to what physicians call a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction, or NSTEMI. .
In this type of heart attack, blood flow through one of the coronary arteries was partially blocked, limiting the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.
If you were told youve had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart didnt suffer much damage and still pumps normally, Dr. Campbell says.
How Do I Know If Im Having A Heart Attack
Your arteries carry blood, oxygen and nutrients to the heart and to the rest of the body. A heart attack occurs when an artery of the heart is suddenly closed or blocked by a blood clot.
Although the closure happens suddenly, it often results from plaque that has built up in the arteries over time. This process is called atherosclerosis. It is also known as hardening of the arteries. When the artery closes, the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart drops suddenly and sharply. This lack of oxygen causes damage to the heart.
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Prevention Is The Key
Heart attacks dont have to happen in the first place. Arteries become blocked when fat collects along their walls. They form plaque, which pressurizes the heart muscles.
The good news is that heart attacks are preventable. The key to knowing what to do when someone has a deadly heart attack is to limit their risk in the first place. Make lifestyle changes that contribute to your cardiovascular health.
1. Eat fruits and vegetables
First of all, eat more fruits and vegetables. They contain the antioxidants that are vital for a healthy heart. High in fiber, they flush LDL cholesterol out of the body. This 2017 study proves that a plant-based diet limits their risk.
2. Go for whole grains
Also, whole grains contain fiber, proteins and other nutrients not present in white flour. Whole grain pasta and bread will lower your cholesterol levels. Besides, they are filling and keep you from snacking.
They also contain B-vitamins, iron, selenium, and magnesium, which boost immune functions. This Harvard Review unveiled that whole grains even prevent some cancers.
3. Eat Less Salt
Salt causes your blood pressure to rise, which increases the risk of a heart attack. Sodium causes the body to retain water. The excess fluid that collects can lead to heart failure, according to this Harvard Review. The recommended level of sodium is about 2000 mg a day.
4. Exercise Regularly
5. Stop Smoking
6. Reduce Stress
7. Lower Cholesterol
8. Lower Blood Pressure
10. Test Screenings
Classic Heart Attack Symptoms
The classic symptom of a heart attack is pain in the chest, especially in the centre, that lasts for a few minutes and comes and goes. This discomfort may feel like pressure, tightness, squeezing, or an aching sensation. The pain can radiate into the neck, arms, back, jaw, or stomach. It can manifest as pain or a general discomfort.
Men often experience a heart attack as chest pain.
However, post-menopausal women and anyone who is diabetic are far less likely to experience chest pain.
Whatever your symptoms, you will probably feel extremely unwell and are likely to be pale, clammy and light headed listen to those symptoms and phone for help quickly.
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What Should You Do During A Heart Attack
Now that you know the warning signs, you need to know what to do when a heart attack takes place. Whether alone or with a loved one, remember these primary steps:
There is no time to waste and it is not the time to act tough. Call 911 and explain the situation. They will dispatch emergency responders and walk you through what to do next. If you dont have access to emergency medical services, have a neighbor or a friend drive you to the nearest hospital.
Remain still and calm.This is easier said than done but remember that any additional stress or movements can increase the harm placed on your heart. As much as possible, remain still until emergency medical staff arrive.
Take an aspirin. Taking an aspirin can give your heart some needed relief by thinning the blood and/or reducing the blood clot. However, you should not take aspirin if you are allergic to aspirin or have been told by your doctor never to take aspirin. Discuss with your physician and seek their advice.
Begin CPR. If youre with a person who is unconscious, tell the 911 dispatcher or another emergency medical specialist. You may be advised to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation . If you do not have CPR training, learn more about getting your CPR and First-Aid training here.
Remember, if you or your loved one is experiencing a heart attack, call 911. If you are unsure, call 911 anyway. Discuss these steps with your loved ones, as well as your physician for additional advice.
What To Do If You Or Someone Else May Be Having A Heart Attack
- Don’t ignore or attempt to tough out the symptoms of a heart attack for more than five minutes. If you don’t have access to emergency medical services, have a neighbor or a friend drive you to the nearest hospital. Drive yourself only as a last resort, and realize that it places you and others at risk when you drive under these circumstances.
- Chew and swallow an aspirin, unless you are allergic to aspirin or have been told by your doctor never to take aspirin. But seek emergency help first, such as calling 911.
- Take nitroglycerin, if prescribed. If you think you’re having a heart attack and your doctor has previously prescribed nitroglycerin for you, take it as directed. Do not take anyone else’s nitroglycerin, because that could put you in more danger.
- Begin CPR if the person is unconscious. If you’re with a person who might be having a heart attack and he or she is unconscious, tell the 911 dispatcher or another emergency medical specialist. You may be advised to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation . If you haven’t received CPR training, doctors recommend skipping mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing and performing only chest compressions . The dispatcher can instruct you in the proper procedures until help arrives.
- If an automated external defibrillator is available and the person is unconscious, begin CPR while the device is retrieved and set up. Attach the device and follow instructions that will be provided by the AED after it has evaluated the person’s condition.
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Rest In A Comfortable Position And Wait For The Ambulance To Arrive
Resting will relieve pressure on the heart as it tries to pump blood around the body.
This may involve sitting or lying down, depending on which feels more restful.
If someone is on their own when they think they are having a heart attack, they should call 911 right away and follow the advice of the call handler.
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Experiencing A Medical Emergency Complete Care Can Help
If youre still unsure of what to do when someone is having a heart attack, Complete Care is here to help. Our emergency care facilities are open 24/7 and provide hospital-grade care to patients within minutes, not hours, with no appointment necessary and no surprise billing.
We have ER locations in both Texas and Colorado .
Visit your nearest Complete Care location today for quick, efficient, patient-centered care today.
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Don’t Hesitate To Conduct Cpr Especially When The Person Has Stopped Breathing
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Cardiac pulmonary resuscitation is essential when the person falls unconscious and has stopped breathing, a condition known as cardiac arrest. If this happens, CPR will keep the blood circulating while you wait for the ambulance or for someone to get a defibrillator. If you don’t know how to conduct CPR, call up the emergency hotline immediately and the responder should be able to guide you through the steps.
Is Chest Pain Normal After A Heart Attack
Once youâve had a heart attack, youâre at higher risk for another one. Not everyone who has CHD will have chest pain , but if you do, it should be a light pain or pressure in your chest that quickly goes away. It will typically happen during or right after physical exertion, intense emotion or eating a heavy meal. If youâre having ANY chest pains, tell your doctor. There are exercises and medication that can help ease or prevent the pain. If you donât know if your chest pain is angina or a heart attack, call 911.
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Recovering From A Heart Attack
The time it takes to recover from a heart attack will depend on the amount of damage to your heart muscle.
Most people can return to work after having a heart attack. Some people are well enough to return to work after 2 weeks. Other people may take several months to recover. How quickly you can go back to work depends on your health, the state of your heart and the type of work you do.
The recovery process aims to:
- reduce your risk of another heart attack through a combination of lifestyle changes , and medicines , which help to lower blood cholesterol levels
- gradually restore your physical fitness so you can resume normal activities
What To Do If Someone Is Having A Heart Attack
1 Minute Read
Each year, tens of thousands of Americans survive a heart attack, go back to their daily routine, and enjoy normal lives. It is important to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and to act quickly to make sure the person has a better chance of recovering.
It is also important to know that symptoms of a heart attack can differ between men and women, and that not all heart attacks are the same. By learning some basic facts, you can stay safe and help others.
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Who Is At High Risk For A Heart Attack
Most people who have a heart attack have not been diagnosed with any heart diseases in the past. Even though a heart attack could happen to anyone, there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing a heart attack.
That being said, it is important to understand that a heart attack could happen to anyone, even with minimum risk factors. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so it is always recommended to follow the steps given below and rush to the hospital to rule out a life-threating heart attack.
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Women And Heart Attack Warning Signs
Women may experience any of the heart attack warning signs. However, they can sometimes experience heart attacks slightly differently to men:
- the pain is more likely to spread as far as the shoulders, neck, abdomen and even the back
- the pain may feel more like indigestion and not be consistent
- there may not be pain but unexplained anxiety, nausea, dizziness, palpitations and cold sweat
Women may also experience unexplained tiredness prior to developing other heart attack symptoms.
How To Stop A Heart Attack
Many people worry about experiencing a heart attack in their lifetime, and with good reason: its estimated that an American has a heart attack every 40 seconds .
Even though a heart attack can be deadly, tens of thousands of Americans survive heart attacks every year.
Acting quickly when you suspect a heart attack is coming on can greatly improve your chances for survival.
Most of the time, heart attacks start slowly with just mild discomfort and pain, giving warning signs before they strike. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 or ask someone to call 911 immediately.
These could be signs of a heart attack:
- Discomfort in the chest, especially the center, that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes. The discomfort may feel like heaviness, fullness, squeezing, or pain.
- Discomfort in the upper body parts such as the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. This may feel like pain or general discomfort.
- Shortness of breath. This may come with or without chest discomfort.
- Unusual sensations such as a cold sweat, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, or dizziness. Women are more likely than men to experience these kinds of symptoms.
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