Heart Attack Awareness – What You Should Know

The heart is a vital organ of the body. Without it, blood can not be pumped to the different organs and the body will be deprived of oxygen. Medical conditions involving the heart are typically dangerous and can be fatal. If your family has history of having a member who suffered from heart attack, the more you need to be aware of what heart attack is, what you can do to prevent it and how to react when it happens.

What is heart attack?

Heart attack, or myocardial infarction in medical terms, happens when heart tissues do not have enough blood supply because of reduced blood flow. This usually happens when a clot prevent normal blood flow from happening and deprives the heart tissues of the oxygen that they need. When this happens, the affected tissues of the heart become damaged. Typically, it is an imbalance between the demand and supply of oxygen.

How will I know if someone is having heart attack?

Unlike what you may have seen in television or movies, it is not as exaggerated as it may seem. Others do not present signs and symptoms. For those who manifest signs and symptoms, they will usually complain of chest pain. It happens suddenly and is not relieved by rest and medications. The pain may also be felt on the left arm, shoulder, and neck. The person may sweat excessively, feel clammy and look pale. There may also be presence of a rapid heart rate and rapid breathing. They may also complain of feeling faint and have the urge to vomit. Heart attack can occur at any time of the day regardless of the activity. The person may be at work, playing, or just taking a rest.

How can it be prevented?

Having a healthy lifestyle can make help you prevent it. Avoid smoking. It destroys your lungs, making oxygen circulation in the body poor. Without adequate oxygen, you are in greater risk of destroying your heart's tissues. Always have well-balanced meals. Fruits and vegetables can reduce certain cardiovascular conditions such as high blood pressure. When blood pressure goes uncontrolled, you become more at risk for attack. Exercise regularly. It strengthens your heart muscles and relieves you from stress.

What to do when heart attack happens?

Get medical help immediately. If you are the one having a heart attack, call the nearest hospital or your doctor. If you see a family member having heart attack, you can call the hospital or drive that person to the hospital immediately.

Take medications. If you have been prescribed of nitrates such as nitroglycerin, take them immediately. Nitroglycerin increases the supply of oxygen, helping alleviate its symptoms. Another medication that you may have been prescribed with is aspirin. Aspirin is an anticoagulant that helps prevent your blood from clotting. However, without the doctor's prescription, taking aspirin can be potentially dangerous. Make sure that it has been prescribed before taking one.

If the person is unconscious and you know cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, start immediately while waiting for medical help. CPR can help deliver oxygen to the person, preventing the worsening of symptoms and effect of heart attack.

Heart attack can be fatal when not treated immediately. Submit yourself for medical check-ups so that if you have heart problems, your doctor can prescribe you with medications to control it.