Introduction Approximately 17.9 million deaths are reported every year because of heart disease. The blockage of one or more coronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood to the heart) is a major factor in these deaths. A heart attack is a sudden cardiac event wherein blood flow to the heart is blocked or reduced, and heart muscles do not get enough oxygen resulting in impending permanent damage to the heart muscle, if blood supply is not restored in time. It can cause serious health problems, but it can be avoided by knowing the warning signs of heart attacks and taking immediate action. There are 2 methods of restoring blood supply – to either administer clot dissoloving or clot buster medicines or to mechanically open it with a procedure called primary angioplasty. Worlwide, success and out come rates are better with angioplasty as compared with clot busting medicines.
Warning Signs of Heart Attacks
A blocked artery can lead to major heart damage and is responsible for a sudden attack. While the most well recognized symptoms of a heart attack is chest pain, many patients will have atypical symptoms – leading to a delayed diagnosis. It is reported that around 85% of damage happens within in the first 2 hours of a heart attack. Ignoring any warning sign can lead to death. Moreover, ignoring these signs may leave the patients susceptible to a damaged heart for their entire life.
Before a sudden attack, a person may feel extreme chest pain (or angina). This pain is due to stiffness or restricted blood supply. A doctor or other healthcare provider asks the patient about heart disease history and the specific location, duration, and intensity of the pain and other symptoms.
Gastritis / Gastric Symptoms
A large number of Indian patients have gastric symptoms as presentation during a heart attack. Suddne onselt belching, upper abdomen pain of vomiting should always alert to a possible heart attack and should be evaluated.
If a person who has fatigue which lasts longer than usual or doesn’t go away with rest and should always alert to a possible heart attack.
Shortness of breath
A person with a heart problem might experience shortness of breath. Many patients with a large heart attack will present with sudden onset breathlessness. The reason for this is excessive fluid accumulation in lungs and is often an indicator of poor outcomes.
Nausea or Vomiting
Nausea or vomiting can be a symptom of many different disorders but are often warning signs of heart disease. Heart blockage can lead to nausea. This is due to multiple reasons such as marked anxiety, stimulation of a nerve called the vagus nerve or due to involvement of the inferior wall of the heart.
Dizziness or Lightheadedness
While chest pain and shortness of breath are common signs of a heart attack, feeling diz
zy or light-headed can also indicate a heart attack. This can happen from either a poor pumping action of the heart or extremely slow or fast heart rates. If a person feels dizzy or light-headed, he must immediately seek medical attention.
Emergency Response For Heart Attacks
If a person may be having a sudden attack, the risk of death by following certain guidelines is minimised.
- Call the hospital immediately – The first thing to do if a person or someone else may be having a sudden attack is to call the hospital immediately.
- Give the person an aspirin – Aspirin is a blood thinner, so it can help break up blood clots that can form during heart disease.
- Loosen tight clothing and relax – Before the ambulance arrives, loosen any tight clothing or other ties that might make it difficult for the person to breathe. Then, try to keep the person as calm as possible and communicate kindly with them. You don’t want to add stress to the situation, which can cause them to produce more adrenaline, which could be harmful.
- Doing CPR – Without CPR, a person’s brain and organs could deteriorate quickly from a lack of oxygen. When a person is given CPR, push down hard and fast in the centre of the victim’s chest (chest compressions) at a rate of 100–120 compressions per minute. Keep pushing until medical help arrives or the victim’s breathing and heartbeat begin to return to normal.
- Mouth-to-mouth Resuscitation – Breathe air into the victim’s mouth. This artificial respiration helps a person to start normal breathing again.
- Use defibrillators – In case of a cardiac arrest in a collapsed patient, defibrillators, which are devices found at most public and private hospitals, are vital to an emergency medical response. The device sends an electrical shock or pulse to restore a normal heartbeat. They can be found at most public and private hospitals and are vital to an emergency medical response.
You can also get in touch with the expert doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert cardiology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Finally, it is extremely important to identify your your risk profile for heart disease and do what you can to prevent them. This includes getting regular screenings, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and taking necessary medication.
Always have a heart attack survival kit nearby, which should include medicine, your doctor’s phone number and emergency numbers, and people who can provide support in the event of an emergency.
FAQ about Warning signs of heart attack
Q. What is the leading cause of a heart attack?
A. When coronary arteries get blocked due to plaque deposition, it leads to no blood supply and sudden attack or failure.
Q. What are the 4 emergency signs of a heart attack?
A. Here are 4 emergency signs of heart disease:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Angina (or chest pain)
- Extreme fatigue
Q. Who is more susceptible to heart attack?
A. People with high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, and those who have a family history of heart disease.
Q. How to prevent a heart attack?
A. You can do many things to lower heart attack risk, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoke, stress, and heavy drinking.
Q. What is the first emergency response for a heart attack?
A. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is the first response to a heart attack. It is a life-saving technique that everyone should be well trained to perform.