Warning Signs: Heart Attack
In Australia, a heart attack occurs every 10 minutes. Women have heart attacks as often as men, and heart attack can strike at any age.
Symptoms of heart attack
- Chest pain or discomfort – central chest pain or a squeezing feeling is common but some heart attacks do not produce any chest pain or discomfort at all. People with diabetes are particularly prone to painless heart attacks.
- Pain or discomfort in the upper body – such as your jaw, either arm, back or neck.
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Unusual fatigue
Not all heart attacks will produce all of the above symptoms.
Also, the symptoms are not always sudden or severe.
Call 000 immediately!!!
If you suspect heart attack then call 000 immediately (or 112 from your mobile phone). If in doubt, make the call. Don’t delay. The longer you wait, the more the heart muscle dies. In fact, 1 in every 4 people who die from a heart attack do so within the first hour of their first symptom. Don’t wait "to see what happens" – the outcome of waiting may be tragedy.
Make that call!! It doesn’t matter if it is a false alarm. In fact that is the best thing that can happen. The fact is, if somebody is having symptoms of heart attack then urgent assessment at a hospital is vital. Too many people die because they delay the call.
Remember too, it is natural for a person experiencing a heart attack to be in denial. That is, the person may assume it is something less serious, such as indigestion. If you are around a person experiencing the above symptoms, take matters into your own hands and dial 000. You may save the person’s life.
This video from the National Heart Foundation further explains the warning signs of heart attack:
How To Avoid Heart Attack
Take these steps to minimise your risk of heart attack:
- Avoid cigarette smoke – see Becoming A Non-Smoker
- Keep your blood pressure low – see Lower Blood Pressure
- Keep your blood cholesterol low – see Lower Cholesterol
- Prevent diabetes, or control your diabetes if you already have it
- Get daily exercise – see Exercise For Everyone and Get Active
- Control your weight – see Losing Weight
- Avoid social isolation – see Get Involved and Get Support
- Manage or avoid depression – see Managing Depression and Get Support