Once the symptoms of heart attack start, problems can progress rapidly and you need to take action quickly and being prepared can make the difference between life and death.
Below are some tips that can help increase your chances of survival in the event that you have a heart attack when alone.
What are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack is important. Early treatment within the first few hours of a heart attack can help in reducing the damage done to the heart and even save your life.
Most Common Symptoms of Heart Attack:
Accoding to NIH, the most common warning symptoms of a heart attack for both women and men are:
1. Shortness of Breath
This may be your only symptom, or it may even occur before or along with discomfort or chest pain. It can occur when you are doing a little bit of physical activity or when you are resting.
2. Chest Discomfort or Pain
Most heart attacks involve discomfort located in the center or left side of the chest. The discomfort can usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away but comes back.
It can feel like squeezing, pressure, or pain. It also can feel like indigestion or heartburn. The feeling can be severe or mild.
3. Upper Body Discomfort
You may feel discomfort or pain in one or both arms, the shoulders, back, jaw, neck or upper part of the stomach (just above the belly button).
Other Common Symptoms and Signs of Heart Attack:
Pay close attention to these other possible symptoms of a heart attack:
- Feeling tired for no reason, sometimes for days, most especially if you are a woman
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Vomiting and nausea, feeling sick to your stomach
- Sudden dizziness and light-headedness
Actions You Can Take During a Heart Attack:
According to UPMC, and the Department of Cardiology, National Heart Centre Singapore or NHCS, below are the actions you can take when you are having a heart attack:
1. Take an Aspirin
Taking an aspirin (if you are not allergic) during a heart attack may help, as this prevents the clot from getting bigger, giving your body a chance to break down the blood clot, while waiting for help to arrive.
2. Call for Medical Help Immediately
Request for an ambulance for the safest and quickest transportation to the hospital.
3. If You are Driving
If you are driving, pull over. You may lose consciousness very quickly. Even if a hospital just around the corner, do not drive yourself.
Cool Your Body Temperature
If possible, place a cool cloth under your armpits or on your wrists. This will help speed up the process.
None of these suggestions are guaranteed to stop a heart attack, But, they can get you some time to get to a hospital. Take the symptoms and warning signs of heart attacks very seriously and get immediate help as soon as possible.
If you think you may have heart disease, or at great risk for a heart attack, consult your doctor.