What to Do in Case of a Heart Attack?

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What to Do in Case of a Heart Attack

Cardiovascular diseases are the most frequent health disorder and the most frequent cause of death. Many elderly people suffer from ischemic heart disease – a condition in which “calcified” blood vessels (these changes develop because of atherosclerosis) are narrowed, which leads to attacks of angina. Angina is a chest pain, which starts mostly during physical loads and localizes behind the breastbone. The pain is usually burning, pressing and radiates to the left hand and shoulder blade. 

In case of an angina attack, you have to stop walking or sit down, calm down and put a tablet of nitroglycerin under your tongue. If it is an attack of angina it will last no longer than a few minutes. 

However, if the measures mentioned above do not help and the pain continues (20 – 30 minutes), also, if cold sweat and nausea appear, this condition may turn out to be a heart attack (myocardial infarction). In this case immediately:

  • Call a physician or an ambulance.
  • Until help arrives, put a tablet of nitroglycerin under the tongue every five minutes (but no more than 3 tablets!).
  • Take a large dose of aspirin (325 mg).

A physician may administer morphine because of the pain, or other drugs that would relieve the symptoms. 

Further treatment depends on the results of examinations done in the hospital. If the examinations confirm the diagnosis of myocardial infarction, there are two options: surgery or thrombolysis (special drugs that break the blood clots down), which can be done within 6 hours after the beginning of the chest pain. These measures can completely cure heart attack, so in case of severe chest pain, you should immediately call the medics. 

It is important to know that chest pain may manifest because of other diseases: stomach and esophagus disorders, neuritis and pulmonary embolism, etc. The diagnosis is only confirmed after special examinations in a health care center.


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