Myocardial infarction, commonly known as a ‘heart attack’, is one of the leading cause of death in our country. Heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of the heart stops, causing damage to the heart muscle.So, what should you do when you suspect that you or any one in your family is having a heart attack? The first thing to do is seek medical help immediately. In the absence of medical aid, the following tips may help you:
1 . KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
-Dull diffuse central region chest pain with breathing discomfort is the prime symptom of a heart attack.
-You may feel as though something is squeezing your chest, holding it tight or as if there is some heavy object on your chest preventing you from breathing normally.
-Some may also suffer from heartburn ( burning sensation in the chest)
-The pain may radiate to the neck, lower jaw or teeth, left shoulder, or left arm.
-Shortness of breath.
-Cold clammy sweating with or without palpitations i.e. increased heart beats.
-At times, chest pain is absent in certain cases of a heart attack, known as a ‘Silent Heart Attack’. In this case, pay attention to the associated symptoms that you feel such as long deep breathing, dizziness, nausea, anxiety or a panic attack. You might be able to identify a heart attack just because of the vague discomfort that you are going through at that moment.
2 . ACT FAST
-Most attacks are not very rapid and give us enough time to act. Therefore, it is necessary to have complete knowledge about a heart attack and ability to act quickly.
-People often confuse a heart attack with other diseases like indigestion, flu or panic attack. However, if you are not sure of what exactly is happening to you, it is best to seek help immediately.
-If you or anyone around you is suffering from a heart attack, please seek medical help as soon as possible.
-Remember, death due to a heart attack can be avoided if you act fast within the first hour of appearance of symptoms.
3 . KNOW WHICH MEDICINE TO TAKE
-Pop in an aspirin if you feel you are having a heart attack. Most people feel better after chewing a tablet of aspirin at the beginning of a heart attack.
-However, aspirin may be harmful to some. Hence, please ask your physician in advance the most appropriate medicine for you in case of a heart attack.
-Do not eat or drink anything; this will not help and instead might worsen the situation.
4 . SEEK IMMEDIATE HELP
-Shout for help immediately. Do not feel shy or scared to make someone call for medical assistance immediately.
-Do not travel alone or drive on your own to a clinic/hospital.
– If immediate help cannot be attained, then ask for someone, like a person next to you or a relative/friend, to take you to the nearest hospital.
-During this time, any kind of activity will cause more harm to the already damaged heart muscles. Stop whatever you are doing and just sit or lie down calmly and ask to be taken to a hospital.