Friday, February 03, 2012

matters of the heart

So, what are the symptoms of a heart attack? Many might think that it is just like in the movies, i.e. a person having sudden severe pain in the chest, followed by the clutching of the external area where the heart is positioned, and finally this person falling over.

Truth be told, the telltale sign might be as mild as the feeling of muscle discomfort. How do I know this? Well, my father suffered from this condition sometime back. As he is an avid golfer and is familiar with the feeling of muscle fatigue, he tried stretching it out which usually does the trick. But this time the symptoms persisted and my father got himself to a doctor straight away. He was shocked to discover that he was suffering from a heart attack!

Anyway, here are the warning signs of a heart attack...

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

-- Source:

Now, what do you do if you're all alone and suspect that you're having a heart attack? Well, a friend on Facebook shared this which I reckon is a truly priceless tip...

Let's say it's 6.15pm and you're going home (alone of course), after an unusually hard day on the job. You're really tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself..! 


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. 

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. 

A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. 

A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. 

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

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