With a new study showing women are more likely to die than men after experiencing a heart attack, knowing the signs and treatment could easily mean the difference between life and death.
A heart attack is a medical emergency caused by a clot forming in one of the three coronary arteries that supplies blood to the heart muscle. This prevents blood from flowing to the heart, which can prove very dangerous.
At this stage, it’s vital that blood flow is restored to the heart, which is why you should dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance if you suspect you’re having one.
As the NHS puts it: “Don’t worry if you have doubts. Paramedics would rather be called out to find an honest mistake has been made than be too late to save a person’s life.”
Signs of a heart attack
Emily McGrath, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), told HuffPost UK that symptoms of heart attacks can vary from person to person and women are less likely to recognise symptoms. For example they might mistake a heart attack as indigestion, as the symptoms can feel similar.
The most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain or discomfort. NHS Choices describes this as “a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of your chest”.
If it feels like indigestion, it can be difficult to determine whether it’s a heart attack or not, which is why it’s important to be aware of other symptoms that may arise such as:
:: Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
:: Feeling short of breath
:: Nauseousness or vomiting
:: Coughing or wheezing
:: Feeling very anxious (like having a panic attack)
:: Pain in other parts of the body. Emily from BHF explained further: “Pain can radiate to the arms, neck, jaw and back. You might experience pain down one side of the body or both. It doesn’t necessarily happen on the left side, which some people believe.”
If you’re suspected to be having a heart attack, you should receive an ECG within 10 minutes of arriving at hospital, according to the NHS.
The test checks the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity, which is essential for swift diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment options given to patients will depend on the type of heart attack they’ve had.
For example, if they’ve had ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), which is where the coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec