Winter holidays can be dangerous time for people having heart diseases. As per a study in Circulation, Christmas has the highest death rate of cardiac death followed by December 26 and New Year’s Eve. This is because during the holidays, legions of Americans indule in eating too much and drinking more alcohol while ditching their exercise routine. As per a researcher at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD the good doctors may be off and the hospitals be understaffed during this period. Find out the seven common question about heart attacks during Christmas and be prepared in case you or your loved one needs help.
- I have chest pain. How do I know if it’s heartburn or a heart attack? Should I wait and see?
Call 911 since a heart attack start slowly with a clot blocking the blood flow to the heart. As minutes tick by, the heart muscle suffers permanent damage. The telltale heart attack signs include pressure or squeezing in the chest, feeling of fullness, sensation which may come and go. Pain may spread to the jaws, shoulders, neck, back or arms and you make you feel light headed. You could suffer nausea and feel heavy perspiration. Other signs include weakness, the sudden onset of unexplained anxiety or fatigue.
- Women are more likely to experience vagues symtoms such as back or jaw pain, shortness or breath, vomiting or nausea than men. Heart attacks are up to 32 percent in the last decade among women under the age of 50.
- Should I give someone aspirin if I think they might be having a heart attack?
Yes, you should give aspirin but only after calling 911. The 911 operator will guide you with the usual dose is one full-strength aspirin or four baby aspirin. The victim should chew the pill so that it enters the bloodstream quickly. Aspirin will reduce the risk of dying by 20 to 30% in case of a heart attack. The protection comes fro the anticlotting effect of aspirin which helps restore and maintain the blood flow until the surgeons can reopen arteries.
- When I cough or breathe deeply, the side of my chest burns. Is that a heart attack?
Figure our the difference between the symptoms of heart attack and other chest pain problems as they are quite tricky. Most emergency physicians would rather be safe than sorry. Always seek medical help and question the symptoms later.
- My chest hurts but it’s not bad enough to be a heart attack — or is it? Any chest pain is a cause of concern. If its crushing pain which extends to the arm or jaw, call 911 immediately. You may have a heart attack and even modern pain could be a sign of it especially in women or in people with diabetes who often do not have these symptoms. Other symptoms include weakness, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and extreme sweating. Pain comes with exertion but improves while you rest may be angina. Though it is nor a heart attack, it is a warning sign of one therefore you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.
- Can you have a heart attack and not even know it?
Yes, silent heart attacks do not cause intense of chest crushing type pain which most of us expect. They may not even show up on an electrocardiogram, a test for electrical activity in the heart which can detect muscle damage caused due to conventional heart attacks. Some people experience atypical symptoms such as indigestion, unusual tiredness, tingling, burning or full feeling in the chest and may not recognize it as having a heart attack. But you should call 911 right away.
- My Dad had a heart attack in his forties. Will I have one, too?
Early heart disease in the family increase the risk two to nine times higher than average in men before 55 years and women before 65. However, family history isn’t limited to your parents since a brother’s or sister’s heart disease also has four times higher risk than a parent’s.
- Good to Know: How Long the Brain Can Survive without Oxygen
If a victim stops breathing due to drowning or choking or a heart attack, you have six minutes before the brain damage starts.
You can Also read: