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5 ways to recognise a heart attack

Dr. O.

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Myocardial Infarction popularly known as heart attack is a life threatening condition that occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked usually by blood clots causing damage to the heart muscle.

People often confuse the terms heart attack and cardiac arrest, a Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, it is a condition that occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood round the body as a result of electrical disturbances in the heart. It is a medical emergency that can lead to death.

A heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest.While a person suffering a heart attack is usually conscious, a person having a cardiac arrest will be unconscious and will not breathe normally.

How can you tell if you are having a heart attack?
Some people suffering from a heart attack may not experience any symptoms at all, however, Most people may experience the following symptoms:

Chest pain: Pressure or tightness that may spread to the arms(especially the left arm), jaw, neck and back.

Shortness of breath: Your breathing may become uncomfortable,you may feel like you have have difficulty breathing and can’t get enough air or like you require extra effort to help you breathe properly.

Light headedness or dizziness: You may notice you start to feel like your head is floating or spinning and may eventually begin to lose your balance or feel unsteady.

Fatigue: You may start to feel extremely tired or exhausted even without doing anything strenuous.

Excessive sweating: You may notice you start to sweat excessively even when the weather is not hot or you haven’t done any strenuous activities to provoke sweating.

Other symptoms: You may experience other symptoms like anxiety,cough, nausea and vomiting.

If you suspect that you or anyone around you may be having a heart attack, report to the hospital immediately.

Taking Aspirin before getting to the hospital may help to thin the blood and prevent formation of further blood clots, however if you are allergic to Aspirin,currently taking any drugs that may affect the action of Aspirin or have any blood clotting disorders you should avoid taking Aspirin

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Dr.O is a graduate of the University of Szeged in Hungary who is on a mission to reduce the mortality rate in our society by creating awareness about preventable and non-preventable diseases and empowering people with the necessary knowledge and information they need to take charge of their health. checkwithdoctoro.com was co-founded by her as a means to fulfilling this mission. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) and Hungarian Medical Chamber certified doctor. When she is not busy looking for ways to make a difference in her environment, you can find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen or touring the world.