What are the signs of a heart attack?

There are a number of signs of a heart attack. It may be chest discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back.  It may be uncomfortable pressure squeezing or pain.  It may not be chest pain. It may be in one or both arms, neck, jaw or stomach discomfort. You may break out in a cold sweat be nauseous or lightheaded. You can also experience shortness of breath.

What do I do if I suspect someone is having a heart attack?

The most important thing to do is to get the person to hospital as soon as possible so you need to call an ambulance.  When the 999 call is answered you need to tell the operator that you suspect that your friend is having a heart attack.  This will ensure that the ambulance is prioritised.

What happens when they get to hospital?

Testing starts in the ambulance and a decision is made on whether they will need to go straight for a procedure to open the artery that has been affected by the heart attack or they may be monitored and go for an angiogram in the following days. When in hospital they will meet the cardiac rehabilitation team who will advise them about lifestyle changes and exercise. They will then be listed for a cardiac rehabilitation programme.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when a plaques breaks off from the wall of the coronary (heart) artery.  A clot forms and can fully block or partially block the artery.  If it is fully blocked you will be brought directly to have the blockage opened or given medication to dissolve it.

What are the risk factors of a heart attack?

The risk factors of heart disease are smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, stress, family history and gender.

 

The Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation are delighted to announce an information evening on Saturday 25th February in Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.  Here National experts will discuss risk of heart disease, watching your diet and mindfulness. Go to www.iacr.info to book a place or email rharkness@irishheart.ie

Karen Cradock, B.Physio, MSc, Specialist Cardiac Physiotherapist, Heart 2 Heart Cardiac Physiotherapy, Unit 5, Kilcullen Business Campus, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare. 045 484000, 0877667465, www.h2hcardiacphysio.com, info@h2hcardiacphysio.com

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