Tips for Heart Emergencies
Tips for Heart Emergencies
Heart attack, heart failure, and arrhythmia are all heart emergencies that require quick treatment. Every day millions of Americans experience these emergencies, and many don’t survive because they did not receive the proper medical treatment during the critical moments.
There are many tips for heart emergencies that could mean the difference between life and death for you or someone you know who is at risk.
First, know the Symptoms for all heart emergencies. Use the quick list of symptoms below as a guide.
Heart Attack Symptoms
A heart attack occurs when your heart is not getting enough blood to keep it working because you have one or more arteries blocked. Keep in mind that heart attacks vary from person to person with symptoms and severity, and the only sure way of identifying a heart attack is by having a medical test.
There are numerous symptoms you might have that are warning signs of a heart attack. These might include: upper abdominal pain, sudden fatigue, severe indigestion or nausea, sweating for no reason, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, stabbing chest pain, pain or pressure in the center of your chest, pounding heartbeat, and dizziness followed by weakness.
Heart Failure Symptoms
Another heart condition is heart failure which can be caused by a heart attack, damaged heart muscle, or high blood pressure. Heart failure can usually be treated with medication, exercise, a good diet, and sometimes surgery.
Symptoms of heart failure are shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, swelling of your feet and legs, and impaired thinking.
Arrhythmia is a condition caused from your heartbeat being irregular. There are two types of arrhythmia. One is tachycardia, which means your heart is beating too fast. Another type is bradycardia, which means your heart is beating too slowly.
Some symptoms of arrhythmia are fainting, sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest discomfort, and a quick or slow heartbeat.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call for help immediately because every second counts in a heart emergency.
Important Tips to Know and Use during a Heart Emergency
There are several important tips you should know if you are in the presence of someone having a heart emergency.
If the person is conscious, you should have them to sit down and stay calm, and loosen any tight clothing.
Ask the person if they are taking medication for their heart. If they need their medication, give them the medication immediately. If their pain persists after taking the medication, you should call for medical help.
If the person is not conscious or responsive, call your local emergency number immediately. In most areas, the number is 911. The emergency medical staff is trained and equipped to handle the medical needs of the victim before reaching the hospital. Time is very critical in the treatment of a heart attack victim, and calling 911 immediately can mean the difference between life and death.
If you have been trained in the procedure, begin CPR or find someone that can. This might help to keep the person alive until medical help arrives.
You should never leave the person alone while they are having a heart attack unless it is to call for help. Also, you should never give them anything by mouth unless it is their heart medication.
Preparing in Advance for a Heart Emergency
If you have a high risk of heart disease, many questions probably pop into your head. “What will my family do?” “What if I am by myself and have a heart attack?” You begin to realize there are many preparations that should be made in the event that something serious can happen.
If you or anyone in your family is at high risk of having a heart attack, you should be prepared for an emergency, because up to 3/4 of heart attacks happen at home.
You, your family, and your friends should all know the warning signs of a heart attack and also learn how to do CPR. Emphasize the importance of calling 911 or your local emergency number.
Decide who you would want to take care of your home, children, pets, and other dependents during your illness and discuss each detail with them. Make sure your house or apartment has a number that is visible from the street so emergency vehicles can easily spot it.
Make up several envelopes that contain information about whom to call in case you have an emergency, such as your family members and your doctor’s phone number. Also, put a list of your medications and any you are allergic to in the envelopes. Put an envelope at your home, one in your car, and one at your work.
Do not drive yourself to the hospital if you think you are having a heart emergency. Call 911 or have someone call them for you.
Take time to study the tips and learn all the symptoms of heart attack or heart disease, especially if you or someone you love is at risk. It will be worth it if a heart emergency does arise.