Monday, September 5, 2011

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Many times death from a heart attack can be prevented. Their symptoms usually do not happen quickly, but come on slowly, beginning with a small amount of pain and discomfort. For this reason, everyone needs to know the symptoms of a heart attack and go straight to the emergency room with the first appearance of any heart attack warning signs. Doing this could very possibly save your life or the life of someone you love.

The heart pumps 24 hours a day sending blood rich in nutrients to your body through its coronary arteries. If these arteries get blocked because of too much plaque or other fatty substances that have built up over the years, it can cause a heart attack. What usually happens is a piece of the plaque breaks off and blocks an artery and prohibits it from sending the needed blood to the heart. It the heart doesn't get enough blood for a period of time, the heart muscle will begin to die, and the individual will have a heart attack.

There are times when people have a sudden and intense heart attack where they know, as well as everyone around them, exactly what is going on. They are rushed immediately to the hospital and hopefully get there in time for the emergency room staff to stop the attack. But most of the time, there are other more subtle warning signs that give you plenty of time to react to the situation. Below is a short but important list you need to make a mental note of.

1 - Discomfort in the Chest - If someone for no apparent reason begins having pain, feelings of pressure, or a squeezing sensation in the center of the chest, it is time to go to the emergency room, especially if it has lasted more than a couple of minutes. At times the pain will go away, and come back. It does not matter. They need to go to the emergency room and have the doctor give them a thorough exam. Emergency room personnel know exactly what to look for and are trained to react swiftly. Yes, there may be a little embarrassment if it turns out to be heartburn or an anxiety attack, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If it had been a heart attack, a quick response could have saved someone's life. If you or anyone in your presence is having these symptoms, try to convince them the importance of a quick response to any of these heart attack warning signs.

2 - Shortness of Breath - Although discomfort and pain in the chest is one of the classic warning signs of an attack, at times there are individuals who have a sudden shortness of breath as well. This needs to be watched very closely and if it last for more than a few minutes, there should also be a quick trip the emergency room.

3 - Pain in upper body - At times one of the heart attack warning signs is pain in the jaw, neck, back, or one or both arms. Once again, if this happens suddenly and for no apparent reason, and last more than a few minutes, be safe and make a visit to the emergency room.

4 - Other Symptoms - Although men can have them too, women very often have symptoms of dizziness, nausea and a sudden breaking out in a cold sweat. This should be watched very closely if it occurs.

People who have never had a heart problem are never sure what to do, or if their symptoms are truly heart attack symptoms. Just remember delaying a call 911 or heading straight to the hospital could be the difference in a complete recover, or death. Emergency room personnel have drugs to open clots, and other treatments to open your arteries that can stop a heart attack. For the best results of a complete recovery, you need to reach the hospital for the treatments as soon after the heart attack warning signs begin as possible.

People of any age can have a heart attack, though it is rare in the younger population. The risks for heart trouble climbs after age 45 in men and 55 in women. The average heart attack age in men is 66 and in women 70. If you are in this age range you are at a higher risk for a heart attack, especially if you have a life style that includes smoking, or you are excessively overweight. It may be a good idea to have a game plan in case of a heart attack. Having an available list of what to do would be a good idea. Calling 911, or someone to take you to the hospital should be at the top of that list.

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