How to handle heart attack victims
Heart attack a silent killer, that takes the lives of several victims worldwide. There are various causes for heart attacks ranging from eating habits to inactive lifestyle. Since, heart attack is on the rise it is important to know what to do in such a situation. Today, we speak on ways to handle patients prone or at risk of developing a heart attack. Immediate measures can prevent damage to the cardiovascular system.
First and foremost, it is important to recognise the symptoms of heart attack. It is also worthwhile to understand which patients or people are prone for heart attacks.
People who have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, males, individuals above 50 years, smokers, people who have suffered stroke (paralysis attack in past) or peripheral arterial disease (pain in feet while walking with sonography evidence of blocks in leg arteries) are typically prone for developing heart attacks.
Common symptoms of heart attack include chest discomfort which is difficult to pin point with tip of one’s finger; if often diffuse below the breast bone (sternum). Pain may also radiate to left arm or jaw, sweating, epigastria region pain (stomach area below the rib cage), nausea, vomiting are common signs or symptoms of heart attack.
Uncommonly the pain may radiate to left side of chest with right arm pain. If the pain doesn’t respond to usual home remedies in 20 minutes, one should visit a nearby doctor without wasting any time. Not uncommonly, patient who is experiencing chest pain due to heart attack may collapse. This happens due to irregular heart beat called ventricular fibrillation.
When a heart attack prone person is experiencing any of these symptoms, it should raise an alarm about possibility of heart attack. The best thing that may be done is to give the person a tablet of Disprin 350 mg to chew while arrangements are done to transport the patient to nearest health care facility. Preferably, the person in question should be encouraged to chew the tablet, keep it in the mouth, and not give by a glass of water. Chewed tablet gets absorbed faster via buccal mucosa veins and reach blood circulation faster, hence action is also quicker.
If tablet sorbitrate is available nearby, one tablet of 5 mg may be kept under the tongue. This serves to increase blood supply to the heart while arrangements are being made to shift the person to the hospital.
Emphasis is to transport as early as possible. For people who collapse unfortunately, they require DC shock and CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) which involves compression of chest until palpable pulse and measurable cardiac activity returns. This in our country unfortunately best done in hospitals since there is not much awareness about CPR in general public. However, there is nothing lost when one does a CPR on a collapsed patient, one must aim to educate himself or herself in basic CPR like people do it in the West.
Important thing for those who smoke or drink is that when they develop lot of acidity and heartburn due to smoking or drinking, its presentation is similar to that of heart attack. Such patients may sit at home thinking it’s their “usual” acidity, in reality they may be Experiencing a heart attack. Any of such symptoms, if not relieved by antacids or milk and especially if it lasts more than 20 minutes, person must be shifted to nearest hospital, at least one ECG must be taken and if possible a cardiologist’s consult.
Remember, heart and brain is two organs of the body, which do not regenerate once damaged. Hence, our best bet is not to lose these parts of the body. One unnecessary visit in the middle of the night may cause temporary in convenience, but when necessary and we do not visit the hospital, that can cause lifetime of inconvenience.
Stay hearty, stay healthy!