A heart attack occurs if the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart is suddenly blocked and the heart could no longer receive adequate amounts of oxygen. If the flow of blood is not restored immediately, the affected heart muscle will start to die. It is a known fact that heart attacks have been the main cause of death of both men and women all over the globe. The good news is that there are available treatments for heart attacks and these can save lives as well as preventing any complications. The treatment for heart attack works best once it is given right after the symptoms have manifested.
The symptoms of a heart attack usually follow a pattern. It is important that you are familiar with the common signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Always remember that an individual does not need to show all the symptoms and signs, but if two or more are present, it is important to call for emergency assistance right away.
Common symptoms of a heart attack
- Chest pain
- Discomfort or pressure in the jaw or neck area
- Heaviness, pressure or tightness in the chest area
- Soreness or pressure in one arm or both arms, particularly the left arm
- Difficulty breathing
- Throbbing or pain between the shoulder blades
Always remember that not all heart attacks start with the abrupt, crushing chest pain that you usually see in the movies. The symptoms of a heart attack tend to vary from one individual to another. Individuals who already experienced a heart attack will have different symptoms on their next attack.
What to do during a possible heart attack
If you suspect that an individual is suffering from a heart attack, you have to call emergency assistance right away. In case the individual is having chest pain, take the individual to the nearest hospital or call for emergency assistance.
While waiting for the medical team to arrive, there are first aid measures that you have to follow.
- Instruct the individual to sit down and rest. If the individual is stressed out or continues to exert effort, the heart attack will cause more damage. Allow the individual to rest until the ambulance arrives.
- Gather the medications of the individual. You have to take all the medications being taken or the latest list of medications. Always remember that it is important to provide personal medical information to the medical team when needed.
- If the individual has a prescription for nitroglycerin, it should be taken as directed by the individual. All you have to do is to put the tablet under the tongue and allow it to dissolve. Just remember that taking nitroglycerin will result to a drastic drop in the blood pressure.
Many individuals can survive or recover better from heart attacks if the appropriate measures were given right away. Those who died from heart attacks usually died within an hour after the manifestation of the initial symptoms and before they even reached the hospital.