If you’re with someone who could possibly be having a heart attack, you should never delay in getting help, even if you only suspect there is a problem. It isn’t overreacting. Add your Comment below!
Heart Attack Symptoms: Knowing What to Look For
The symptoms of a heart attack aren’t always obvious and often differ between men and women. Those symptoms can be subtle — perhaps one reason why some people don’t make it to an emergency room — or they can be very painful. Knowing what to look for can help you know when to take action for a friend, colleague, or loved one in distress:
- For men: The typical male symptom is a crushing pressure behind the breastbone, also called the sternum. That pressure, Dennison says, can radiate to your arms (often the left arm) and can go into the back, shoulder blades, and jaw. Men suffering a heart attack can break out in a sweat, and sometimes they will pass out.The onset of pain may be gradual and last several minutes or more. Sometimes the pain fades and comes back.
- For women: Women can have any of the same symptoms that men experience, but women often have more “atypical” symptoms, such as shortness of breath, and they may feel some indigestion. A woman having a heart attack may also experience pain in her jaw, and could feel a little faint.
- Plan For the Possibility of a Heart Attack
It’s good to have a plan in place before a heart attack occurs, especially if the person has close relatives who have had heart attacks. According to Dennison, genetics play a big part in who has a heart attack and who doesn’t. One thing he highly recommends is a medical ID bracelet so that the attending medical team will know about allergies and other medical issues.Chances of recovery are much better if the affected artery can be opened up within an hour-and-a-half of the heart attack, making it essential to get the person having the attack to the emergency room immediately. “By the time 90 minutes go by, you want to get that artery open,” Dennison says. “If you’re in a rural emergency room, and [the medical team can’t open the artery], you need clot-busting drugs.”You Think It’s A Heart Attack?
Dennison says it’s extremely important for caregivers and friends to know the symptoms of a heart attack. Call 911 if you even suspect it’s a heart attack and here’s what you can do before help arrives:
- Stay close.Do not leave the person to find medications to give them, UNLESS (they can tell you where their heart medication is) Don’t forget the adult dose asprin, giving this to the person could help save them. It’s better to call for help first; emergency personnel can administer appropriate treatments.
- Give a dose of nitro. If the person has been prescribed nitroglycerin in the past for heart disease, and the medication is close at hand, you can give them a dose.
- Go for comfort. Make the heart attack victim more comfortable by placing them in a comfortable position, loosening clothing, and staying close to provide reassurance.
- If needed, give CPR.Studies have shown that CPR given by a bystander can double or triple a victim’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. If you are with someone who suddenly collapses, stops breathing, or is unresponsive, start performing hands-only CPR at 100 chest presses a minute with minimal interruptions if this is all you can do at the moment. Learn more about how to perform CPR by signing up for a CPR certification class in your area, check out our class locations at Minnesotacprtraining.
Watch Mary’s story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zk44DWDQnI
- The one thing you shouldn’t do? Drive the person to the hospital yourself. If you go into the emergency room with your spouse, they will say, ‘Fill out a form and sit down.’ And you are sitting there, and the next thing that happens, your spouse is on the floor. With 911, you get right in there. If it’s a panic attack, that’s fine. It could have been a heart attack!
- Please comment and add your thoughts below.