Heart Attack – Signs, Symptoms & Management

Heart Attack – Signs, Symptoms & Management

heart attack

The signs and symptoms of a heart attack may vary from person to person but some common ones include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort that may feel like squeezing, pressure, fullness, or pain. The discomfort may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, back or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety

It is important to note that not all heart attacks come on suddenly or with intense chest pain. Some may start with mild discomfort or other symptoms. Additionally, not everyone experiences all of these symptoms.

A person having a heart attack is usually conscious. (note: Heart Attack is NOT the same as sudden Cardiac Arrest)

Most heart attacks occurs when a coronary artery, which supplies blood to your heart, becomes blocked, and the casualty requires emergency treatment to restore blood flow to their heart. Some heart attacks are caused when a coronary artery contracts (spasms) and narrows.

If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect that you or someone else is having a heart attack, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Follow these steps:

  1. Call emergency services: Immediately call for an ambulance or emergency medical services. Calling 000 will connect you to the appropriate services.
  2. Help the person stay calm: Reassure the person that help is on the way and help them to relax as much as possible. Loosen tight clothing if necessary.
  3. Have them chew and swallow aspirin: If the person is not allergic to aspirin, have them chew and swallow an aspirin (unless instructed otherwise by a doctor).
  4. Perform CPR if necessary: If the person becomes unresponsive or stops breathing, begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until medical help arrives.
  5. Follow emergency medical instructions: If you are on the phone with emergency services, follow their instructions until they arrive on the scene. They may provide further instruction on how to help the person.

Remember, every minute counts when someone is having a heart attack. Acting quickly and getting medical help right away can make a big difference in the outcome.

Each day, an average of 21 Australians die from a heart attack. One patient is admitted to an Australian hospital with a heart attack every nine minutes.  (Source: Heart Foundation)

Do not ignore the warning signs of a heart attack. Every minute counts.

Heart Attack Poster



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