Monday, March 21, 2011

Recognizing a Heart Attack

Quick action at the onset of a heart attack is vital to survival and the quality of recovery. Unfortunately this is sometimes easier said than done. Many heart attack victims deny they are experiencing something as serious as a heart attack. Do you know the signs of a possible heart attack?
  • Chest Pressure, squeezing, or pain that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. However, not every heart attack victim will experience chest pain. Just because your chest doesn't hurt doesn't mean you are not experiencing a heart attack.
  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck, jaw or arms.
  • Dizziness, sweating, nausea.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe fatigue
  • Upset stomach
Care for a Heart Attack
  1.  Call 9-1-1
  2. Help the victim into the most comfortable resting position.
  3. If the victim is alert and not allergic to aspirin, give four (4) chewable aspirin (81 mg) or one (1) regular aspirin (325 mg)
  4. If the vitim has been prescribed medication for heart disease such as nitroglycerin, help the victim use it.
  5. Monitor breathing.
Angina
Angina symptoms are similiar to thjose of a heart attack, but seldom last longer than ten (10) minutes and almost always are relieved by nitroglycerin.

Care for Angina
  1. Have the victim rest
  2. If the victim has been prescribed nitroclycerin, help the victim use it
  3. If the symptoms continue for more than ten (10) minutes and a heart attack is suspected, call 9-1-1.

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