A heart attack is a life-threatening situation that needs immediate medical care. This health emergency occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked due to fat or cholesterol build-up. Lack of blood in the heart can cause severe damage to heart muscles and put a person in a critical state.
Heart attacks happen in the United States every 40 seconds. More than 800,000 people experience a heart attack each year. While these happen unexpectedly, the body sends a series of warning signs that a health emergency is waiting to happen.
It is vital to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a heart attack to prevent the occurrence of a tragic emergency.
What Are the Warning Signs?
A heart attack can happen anytime—even when you are asleep or resting. The emergency does not always start with a sudden pain in the chest. A heart attack can begin with mild discomfort.
People also experience heart attacks even when they don’t have severe coronary artery disease. The signs of a heart attack vary depending on a person’s age, gender, and medical history.
The standard warning symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Squeezing chest pain that comes every few minutes
- Continuous pain in the chest and other parts of the body such as arms, neck, back, teeth, jaw, and stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
Both men and women commonly experience these signs. However, women are likely to experience additional symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, upper back, neck, and shoulders.
A heart attack comes unexpectedly. Preparation is the best way to prevent heart attacks from further damaging one’s overall health. Here’s how you can prepare for the dreaded emergency:
Know the warning signs
If you recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, you can immediately act upon it instead of delaying going to an emergency hospital.
Remember to call 911
Always remember that if you identify the signs and symptoms of a heart attack on someone, seeking professional medical attention is the best thing you can do.
Discuss with family, friends, and caregivers about calling 911 within 5 minutes upon the start of the heart attack for immediate help.
Know the risk factors
Identify major contributors to heart attacks. To do so you can talk to your doctor about the ways to avoid these factors.
Keep a go-to personal health info checklist
Have a list of all medicines, allergies, doctor’s contact number, and person to contact in an emergency.
Learn Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
The best preparation for a heart attack is knowing how to conduct CPR. This emergency procedure executes hard and fast chest compressions for a person whose heart stops due to cardiac arrest.
Hands-only CPR is a recommendation for bystanders and first responders. By learning CPR, you can save someone’s life.
What To Do When A Heart Attack Emergency Occurs?
In a heart attack emergency, you must stay calm and seek help.
Call for emergency response
Dial 911 immediately for an ambulance and quick emergency response.
Once the Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrive, they can conduct initial treatment on the way to the hospital. Trained EMS personnel can perform CPR when a person’s heart stops.
Go to an emergency hospital
If there is no immediate help, drive to the nearest emergency hospital. An emergency hospital provides direct medical care and prioritizes critical health situations such as an ongoing heart attack.
Kingwood Emergency Hospital in Kingwood, Texas, provides immediate care for a person having a heart attack. A series of tests can confirm the heart attack and help decide what the best treatment for the patient is.
Emergency doctors can deliver medical care minutes after arriving, which is essential in preventing chances of severe damage to the patient.
The hospital is also top-rated in patient satisfaction, making it a leading choice for emergency medicine in Kingwood, Texas.
A heart attack is a life or death situation, and it requires an immediate response. Do not delay medical treatment if warning signs begin to show. Always remember that surviving a heart attack starts with acting fast and getting professional emergency help.