Know the symptoms of a heart attack and save a life

A heart attack is triggered by a blockage of blood supply to the heart muscle. The blockage is usually caused by a clot in the coronary blood vessels. The result will depend on how much of the muscle is affected and how quickly one can get assistance.

Most people who experience a heart attack get symptoms or warning signs hours, days or even weeks in advance. Most of us know chest pain as a typical sign or symptom of a heart attack. However, there are several other symptoms that may occur during the attack, or in the weeks, hours or days prior to it. It is important to be aware and understand that other symptoms may occur, such as irregular pulse, anxiety and persistent jaw pain.

If you or someone you know is having a heart attack, time matters. The sooner a person receives medical assistance, the greater their chances of survival. Hence, it is useful to be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack so that medical assistance can be sought quicker.

These are some of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

  • Sweating when you haven’t been exercising is a possible sign of an imminent heart attack.
  • Shortness of breath could be your body’s response to the shortage of circulating oxygen because your heart is weakening. This is often the sign of heart disease.
  • Heart disease leads to a decrease in oxygen levels in your body. This can lead to ongoing unexplained anxiety or insomnia. This is one of the warning signs that can be experienced months before the actual heart attack.
  • Pounding or irregular heartbeat. Your heart may feel like it is pounding. This symptom can be triggered by exercise, however, be concerned if you experience unexplained palpitations.
  • Sudden spells of faint or dizziness.
  • Severe chest pain that is persistent and spreads out to the jaw and one or both arms. It is a cause for concern if these pains do not subside when you rest.
  • Discomfort in the abdomen, which may feel like severe indigestion.
  • A weak and irregular pulse.

A person may experience some, but not necessarily all these symptoms. If you experience any of them, contact your healthcare provider or visit a hospital immediately. Early detection could save your and your loved one’s lives.

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