How to Recognize a Heart Attack and Act Quickly

Healthy Heart|Feb.14, 2020

When it comes to your health, its always smarter to err on the side of caution. For e.g. your heart health - while the possibility of a heart attack is uncomfortable to think about now, improving your awareness may save discomfort down the line. The more you know that better your prepared and preparedness can lead to timely and quick action, which is crucial to saving lives — after all, nearly 80 percent of heart attacks which could be fatal can be prevented if quick action is taken in the first 60 minutes. That's worth the consideration! Here's what you need to know to help keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Recognize the Symptoms

Contrary to widespread perception, severe chest pain is not the only sign of a heart attack and not all heart attacks begin with chest pain. Some start with mild pain and simple discomfort — signs we usually associate with indigestion or gastric problems.

The most common warning sign includes discomfort in the chest that lasts for a few minutes and comes back at regular intervals. Sometimes this chest pain is accompanied by:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Pain and discomfort that spreads to other body parts like the back, neck, stomach and even the jaw
  • Inexplicable shortness of breath and fatigue
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Light-headedness

Keep these symptoms in mind and commit to learning what to do if you or someone around you starts showing the signs. Symptoms vary from person to person and depend on age, gender and medical condition. For instance, a person with diabetes might experience blackouts along with other symptoms.

Call for Emergency Help

If you suspect a heart attack, first and foremost, call for medical help immediately.

If you're the one having symptoms, resist the impulse to drive yourself to the hospital even if you have mild discomfort and not severe chest pain. Also, don't wait until you're sure if it's actually an attack or not.

Give CPR

If you're the caregiver in a heart attack situation, keep the person calm and quiet. In case the person having a heart attack collapses and stops breathing, you should perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This can help prevent their brain and other organs from damage due to a lack of oxygen. If you don't know how to perform CPR properly, seek help on the phone from the emergency services you have contacted until the medical personnel arrive to take control. It's best to be prepared and learn this life-saving skill in advance of ever having to use it. Reach out to local community resources that offer CPR training near you.

What Else Can I Do?

  1. Work on a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle.
  2. Be aware of the symptoms and warning signs.
  3. Call the hospital immediately at the first sign of a heart attack. Don't wait.
  4. Keep phone numbers of the nearest hospitals and your doctors handy.
  5. Create an emergency information sheet, including information about your allergies, doctor's numbers and people to contact in case of a heart attack. Keep this information in an easily accessible place like your handbag, wallet or refrigerator.
  6. Inform yourself of how to keep heart attacks from recurring.

Minimising damage in the case of a heart attack is all about timing and information. Having an chat with your physician about this is great way of keeping yourself informed too. With these tips, you can take quick and correct action to help save not only your life but also your heart from some real damage, setting you up for greater health and reducing your chances of a recurring heart attack.


Disclaimer: This publication/editorial/article is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any Products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.