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Heart Attack

Each year approximately 1 million Americans experience a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when the myocardium or heart muscle is deprived of oxygen. This occurs when coronary arteries that feed the myocardium, are blocked with arthrosclerosis (cholesterol plaques), which form on the inner wall of the artery.

When enough plaque builds up on the inner wall of the coronary arteries, you will develop coronary artery disease. This condition will impede the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to the heart muscle causing you to experience chest pain.

Some people experiencing chest discomfort pass it off as indigestion.

Early recognition and understanding of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can make a difference.

The earliest signs of a heart attack are reoccurring episodes of chest pain after physical activity. The chest pain may cease upon relaxation this is called (Angina Pectoris). If you should experience this call 911 await trained professional medical help.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Chest pain / pressure / squeezing sensation in the center of your chest (that does not go away after rest)
  • Chest pain radiating towards your (jaw / shoulder / down your arm)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cool / pale clammy skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Fainting / light-headedness

If you experience one or more of the above symptoms call 911, follow the instructions from the operator, and wait trained professional medical help.

First Aid:

  • Keep the patient calm (don't allow the patient to move / keep the patient as still as possible).
  • Don't allow the patient to eat food or drink beverages
  • Loosen any tight clothing around their neck / waist area
  • Get the patient as much fresh air as possible
  • Assure the patient that help is on the way

There are known risk factors for developing coronary artery disease, which will lead to a heart attack. The risk factors can be one or more of the following:

Risk Factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Family history of heart conditions (possible genetic)

You can reduce the chance of developing coronary artery disease. It starts with changing one's life style.

Prevention:

  • Regular medical check ups
  • Stop smoking
  • Regular exercise (before starting any type of exercise program consult a physician)
  • Eat healthy (avoid fatty meats)
  • Stress management
  • Consume alcohol in moderation

If case of an emergency call 911, follow the instructions from the operator and await trained professional medical assistance.


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