A potentially lifesaving New Year’s resolution

Monday 7th January 2018 – 10.00am – Murray MacGregor.

It may be a bit late to make a New Year’s resolution, but make this one anyway; know what the signs of a heart attack are.

We’ve all seen TV programmes where someone collapses with chest pain and it’s therefore definitely a heart attack, but is that what the reality is like?

What is a heart attack?

First things first; a heart attack is where there’s a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of your heart usually caused by a blood clot.

This can seriously damage the heart muscle and be life-threatening.  As such you should dial 999 immediately.  The sooner you get help the better your chances of survival and rapid assistance could also reduce the level of damage meaning you’ll have a better quality of life going forward.

What signs and symptoms should I look out for?

Jason Wiles, Lead Paramedic for Emergency Care, said: “As with most medical conditions, the signs depend on the individual.  Pain in your chest that suddenly occurs and doesn’t go away is the classic symptom.  The pain may spread to your arm, neck, jaw, back or stomach.  For some, the pain or tightness is severe, while others just feel uncomfortable.  You may also feel sick, sweaty, light headed or short of breath.

“However, the elderly, women, or those with diabetes may not get classic symptoms as the condition can cause nerve damage which affects how you feel pain.  Some people also confuse their stomach for their chest and all they have is indigestion!

If I’m concerned, what should I so

Jason says: “Even if you aren’t sure, it’s important to seek medical attention to be on the safe side so phone for an ambulance immediately.

“Try to remain calm, answer the questions you’ll be asked as best you can as that will ensure you get the right help.  They call handler will also be able to provide advice while you await the ambulance.

“You should sit and rest; getting up and walking around may put unnecessary strain on your heart. If possible, get someone else to open the door for the ambulance crew as this saves time.”

A heart attack is life-threatening. If you think you or anyone else is having a heart attack, call 999 for an ambulance immediately.

You can get more information here

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