Heart Attack: Know The Warning Signs and Act Quickly

Jan 01, 2020

Did you know about half of the people with heart attacks die within one hour after the onset of symptoms? Death is usually attributed to a delay in seeking emergency care treatment. Acting quickly when the symptoms appear will not only stop complications but may save a life.

What is a Heart Attack and What Increases the Risk?

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is disrupted or blocked impairing the supply of oxygen to the heart muscles. If you don’t fix the issue on time, the heart muscle can fail and start to die.

The heart blockage is caused by coronary heart or artery disease and certain factors can increase your risk. Major risk factors include age, family history, smoking, excess body weight, obesity, high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, and gender (Men are more likely to get a heart attack than women). The risk of a heart attack in women begins after menopause and may cause different symptoms. If you are in doubt, it is important to talk to your doctor to know whether you are at risk of heart-related problems or not.

What are the Early Warning Signs?

Some of the warning signs of heart attack for both men and women include:

  • Chest discomfort and pain is the primary symptom of a heart attack. The discomfort lasts for a few minutes and is recurrent. Sometimes it can feel like pressure, pain, fullness, or squeezing. Chest pain can at times be caused by heartburn or indigestion. It is important to visit the doctor immediately especially if you have other risk factors of heart diseases.
  • Shortness of breath occurs differently in every person. Some people may have shortness of breath when they are resting and others during physical activity. It may also occur on its own or along with other symptoms.
  • Upper body discomfort either in one or both arms, the shoulders, back, neck, jaw, or above the belly button.

Other symptoms of a heart attack may include nausea, light-headedness, sudden dizziness, breaking in a cold sweat, and unusual fatigue, especially in women.

Is It Possible to Have Heart Attack Without Symptoms?

Yes, sometimes the heart may be the silent type which has no or a few symptoms. The heart attack symptoms differ from person to person, and you may also not have the same symptoms as last time. Silent heart attacks start slowly and the symptoms are mild if any. Furthermore, people with diabetes may have no symptoms at all which increases their risk of heart failure.

Act Quickly to Save a life

Seeking emergency care near you when a heart attack occurs is critical for your recovery. Call 911 for emergency medical care, even when you are not sure if you are having a heart attack or not.

An ambulance is the safest way to get to the emergency room. Our emergency care professionals can monitor your condition and start life-saving treatment right away. Remember, people who arrive in an ambulance often receive faster treatment than the rest.

Aspirin and other doctor-prescribed medication can stop a heart attack if given on time.

Actions to Take Before a Heart Attack Happens

If you are a risk of getting a heart attack or have heart-related conditions, it is important to be prepared at all times.

  • Start by working out an emergency response plan with your family in case of a heart attack occurs.
  • During your routine health checkup, talk to your doctor about your risk for heart attack. Also, ask the doctor if you can take aspirin if you get an episode.
  • File your medical history information including drugs both prescription, supplements and non-prescription ones for easy access. Include emergency contact of your doctor and next of kin.

Don’t Hesitate to Call Us

When you suspect that you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, call our emergency care clinic for treatment and also to prevent further complications. Heart attack slowly and at times without warning. therefore, always be on alert especially if you have heart attack risk factors.