Health, Heart Attacks, Panic Attacks

2 06 2009

Every now and then when i feel a pinch or some chest pressure I worry for a while that I might get a heart attack. To make that fear a little less I decided to do some real research on the subject to see who are the risk factors and what to do when having a heart attack.


The classic symptoms of a heart attack include intense, sometimes squeezing, chest pressure or pain, often radiating to the jaw or left arm, and frequently accompanied by profuse sweating.

Unfortunately, many patients with heart attacks do not have this classic presentation. Their discomfort may be relatively mild, and may be localized to the back, abdomen, shoulders, or either or both arms. Nausea and vomiting, or merely a feeling of heartburn, may be the only symptom. These less classic symptoms may not make patients think of a heart problem, and may keep them from seeking medical help. Indeed, up to 30% of heart attacks are diagnosed by taking a routine ECG long after the fact.

This is why people with one or more risk factors for coronary artery disease need to pay close attention to any unusual symptoms involving the upper half of the body. This warning would apply, for instance, for any middle-aged or older person who is obese, sedentary, a smoker, a diabetic, overweight, has high cholesterol, or has a family history of heart disease. Luckily i am not in any one of the risk categories so that makes me feel a bit more secure. And I have had ECG’s a few times and all seemed normal there. Those were taken when I had  high heart rate that was caused by nerves, so a sinus tachycardia. I do not that there are more people that have panic attacks and are afraid it;s a heart attack because of the palpititions. I looked up what the differences were in feeling,

In a real heart attack, sufferers will experience a crushing sensation inside the chest and this pain is continuous for 5 to 10 minutes, with a panic attack it usually comes and goes.In fact, you DO NOT hear your heart beating during a heart attack, nor do you care – the crushing pain is the only thing you can feel. For panic attacks, you can actually feel the rapid heartbeat, in addition to other worrying symptoms. People having a heart attack usually don;t hyperventilate and their tingling is more confined to the left arm and jaw and not the whole body You are never in any real danger during a panic attack, you are just panicking.The thing about heart attack is that you CANNOT have one without an existing heart condition or disease – it is a fact. Panic attacks CANNOT and WILL NOT cause a heart disease or heart attack. That is good to know!!

When you do have a heart attack though what is the best way to handle

Every minute is important so call 911(or 112 in the Netherlands) for an ambulance, but if someone driving you is quicker then do that. Chew one adults-strength aspirin(325mg) right away cause that thins the blood against clots( I keep 2 in my wallet all the time). Stop what you;’re doing right away and sit down or lay down.The first priorities of the medical personnel are a) to make sure your vital signs (pulse and blood pressure) are stable, b) to prepare to deal with life-threatening conditions that may appear (such as ventricular fibrillation), and c) to decide whether or not you’re actually having a heart attack.

The first 24 hours after a heart attack is critical. Early intervention, using aggressive measures to open the occluded coronary artery, can radically improve the patient’s prognosis. The main limitations to successfully opening an occluded artery are a) the patient’s delay in getting medical care, and b) medical facilities that are poorly organized to deal rapidly and efficiently with patients who are having heart attacks. While “b” was a major problem 5 or 10 years ago, most hospitals and emergency rooms have now adopted procedures that allow them to rapidly assess and treat heart attack patients.

By far, the most important delay in delivering effective therapy for acute heart attacks today is the delay caused by patients failing to seek medical help in a timely fashion.

While my fear might still come up every now and then, thing are more clear for me now what to do and how to recognize. Hope it helps others as well






One response

2 06 2009
Health, Heart Attacks, Panic Attacks

[…] Original post by gaydutchnyc […]

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