February 5, 2023

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Chest pain- Is this a Heart Attack?

GUEST COLUMN: Dr. Prabhudev

Guidelines to prepare you to effectively respond to the heart attack!
Heart attacks can be a life-or-death situation- potentially devastating. Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths – making it the leading cause of death.

Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds! Knowing what to do when one occurs is essential.
Is this a heart attack?
When you think “heart attack,” classic symptoms such as chest discomfort might first come to mind. But heart attacks can present differently in men and women, and in people with certain diseases, like diabetes.

When is chest pain serious?
It’s a vexing question, one that millions of people — and their doctors — face each year. Chest pain isn’t something to shrug off and delay seeking help. Heart attacks – different people experience them in different ways. Chest pain is only one of the possible signs of an impending heart attack. It also isn’t something to be diagnosed and treated at home. Don’t play doctor — go see one, fast. If you notice one or more of the signs below in yourself or someone else rush for emergency medical help!

More likely to be a heart attack

• Chest pain can be incredibly scary. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and can take your breath away. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness, or pain in the centre or to the left of centre of the chest. Millions suffer with chest pain- Only 20% of them are diagnosed with a heart attack or an episode of unstable angina!
• Pain, numbness, pinching, prickling, or other uncomfortable sensations in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
• Shortness of breath
• Sudden nausea or vomiting
• Light-headedness or dizziness
• Unusual fatigue
• Profuse cold sweat
• Sudden heaviness, weakness, or aching in one or both arms
Less likely to be a heart attack
• Sharp pain when you cough or take breath- Pleurisy, pneumonia or asthma.
• Sudden stabbing pain that lasts only a few seconds
• Chest Pain highly localised
• Pain that lasts for many hours or days without any other symptoms, Acid reflux.
The classic signs of a heart attack to be aware of are: Killer chest pain – like an elephant sitting on your chest. Pain radiating down your left arm. Pounding or racing heart. Sweating, especially the quick onset of cold sweating.

To find comfort take some antacids, drink water or take deep breaths. Cough now and then. These actions can be helpful, but if the pain persists or recurs after your efforts, you should seek medical attention. The sooner you are examined, the sooner you can get the kind of artery-opening therapy that can protect your heart from permanent damage.
Emergency
• Acting quickly can save lives. In an emergency, the first link in the chain of survival is early access to treatment
• Chew and swallow an aspirin while waiting for emergency help- If given quickly after symptoms, clot-busting and artery-opening medications can stop a heart attack. Aspirin helps keep your blood from clotting.
• Request your friends or the neighbours to take you to the emergency care.
• If you are a heart patient Take nitro-glycerine or Sorbitrate tab sublingually
• Sit down or Lie down comfortably and take a tab of Anxit if you have

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