Tag Archives: cardiac arrest

Know The Symptoms of a Heart Attack so You Can Act Fast

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infraction, occurs when the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart is cut off or drastically reduced. This happens because of artherosclerosis, a build up of plaque on the artery walls which leads to narrow, hardened arteries and sometimes complete blockages. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and approximately 730,000 Americans have a heart attack annually. Because of these startling numbers, it is vitally important to know the signs and symptoms of acute heart trouble so you can take immediate action and hopefully experience a better outcome.

What Are Common Symptoms Of A Heart Attack?

Some heart attacks are immediate but others come on gradually, so it is important to act quickly if you experience:

  1. Chest pain or discomfort (many women experience only a feeling of “pressure” in the chest)
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Nausea or vomiting (along with other symptoms)
  4. Unusual pain in your upper body like your shoulders, neck or jaw
  5. Upper stomach discomfort that may feel similar to heartburn
  6. Syncope (fainting)
  7. Extreme unexplained and sudden fatigue
  8. Cold sweats

Symptoms May be Different for Everyone

Other symptoms include anxiety or unexplained fear, light-headedness or faintness. It is also important to know that men are more likely to experience classic symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, whereas many women experience less chest pain, more jaw pain and nausea.

Know the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

While a heart attack often has several symptoms, as we mentioned above, a cardiac arrest is often more sudden and comes with little warning. According to ACLS Medical training, a cardiac arrest occurs when the natural electrical conduction of the heart is interrupted by an arrhythmia, causing the person to collapse until they are revived. A cardiac arrest can be fatal unless immediate CPR or emergency defibrillation action is taken.

Don’t Wait Around – Take Action!

If you (or a loved one) are experiencing the above listed symptoms, don’t try to be a hero by ‘waiting it out’. Take immediate action. Of those who die of heart attacks, half die within the first hour of symptoms before even reaching the hospital. The earlier you receive emergency medical treatment, the better your chances of a positive outcome. If the heart is without oxygenated blood for too long you could die or become severely disabled for life. If you are wrong and aren’t having a heart attack, there is no harm done by seeking treatment. So, know the signs, know your own body and act fast.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Stay happy and healthy!




8 Non-Cardiac Causes of Chest Pain

There are no two ways about it, chest pain is scary. It is natural when someone gets a sudden, shocking chest pain to think of the heart right away but more often than not, sharp chest pains have another explanation. Non-cardiac chest pain is exactly what it sounds: chest pain (new or chronic) that has no heart-related cause and is instead triggered by muscles, another organ or another type of health condition.

Common Causes of Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

The following conditions are just some of the many that can produce alarming chest pain:

  1. GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disorder can cause heartburn as well as chest pain or pressure from acid that backs up the esophagus.
  2. Costochondritis – is an extremely painful but non-life-threatening condition whereby the costal cartilage (which connects the ribs to the sternum) becomes inflamed, causing immense chest wall pain and tenderness.
  3. Pleurisy or pneumonia – pleurisy is when fluid accumulates around the lungs and causes infection-like symptoms along with chest pain. Pneumonia similarly causes chest discomfort along with infection and flu-like symptoms.
  4. Asthma or COPD – those with chronic respiratory disorders often experience chest pain and tightness due to swelling of the structures in the lungs. This type of chest pain usually follows an asthma attack or coughing fit.
  5. Anxiety – anxiety or panic attacks can produce symptoms that are very similar to (and often confused with) heart symptoms. They may include: chest pain, high heart rate, sweating, stomach upset and panic. Usually the chest pain is a sharper type in panic attacks.
  6. Shingles can cause a burning pain in the chest or back before the rash develops.
  7. Pancreatitis usually begins with a sudden or gradual pain in the upper abdomen or chest that radiates to the back. This is usually accompanied by fever, weakness and general malaise.
  8. Gall Bladder disease – gallstones or gallbladder swelling is often initially mistaken for a heart attack by the sufferer as it can produce similar symptoms such as terrible chest pain or stomach upset.

Leave Your Chest Pain to the Professionals to Decide

Just because there are other potential causes of chest pain does not mean you shouldn’t seek medical attention for chest pain. Of course you should always seek medical advice for new chest pain, as it can be heart-related or many of the other causes, like pneumonia, can also be serious. If you are experiencing tightness in your arm, dizziness, faintness or stomach upset along with your chest pain, be sure to seek emergency medical attention.

Thanks for visiting DocChat!


Cardiac Arrest: After Surgery Care Tips

A man in pain clutches at his chest.

Cardiac arrest requires instant and prompt medical attention. This is because the heart ceases all of its functions, that is, it stops pumping blood to the brain, lungs, and many other organs of the human body. Thereby, causing unconsciousness and possible death if not treated as a medical emergency.

Once, you are out of surgery, the recovery period is extensive and exhaustive. Since the heart is the core of the human body, it needs a lot of time to heal and function properly. Here are some of the tips that you need to consider in order to avoid any postoperative complications and ensure proper functioning of your heart.

Exercising and Physical Therapies

Exercising is immensely important when you are recovering from cardiac surgery. Not only does it improve the heart function by improving its ability to inhale oxygen, it also reduces any potential risk of returning cardiac arrest.

Physical therapists, with slight movements, help you out immediately after you come out of cardiac surgery. Since, the surgery is still relatively recent, you need to make sure that you do not exert yourself and your body too much. Once you are released from the hospital, activities that do not put too much pressure on your body and heart should be carried out. Walking in your backyard, walking up the stairs, and just generally moving your body is an ample amount of exercise in this situation.

It is recommended that you join a rehabilitation center as the program helps recovering patients with light exercises that don’t exert their body too much. However, make sure that you discuss with an expert the type of exercises your body can handle and which are not too intense.

Take Care of Your Diet

Avoiding alcohol, smoking and any such harmful substances is extremely important when you are recovering from cardiac surgery. However, after a month you can have alcohol only if it is doesn’t exceed one glass a day, but make sure you ask your doctor before you consume any quantity of alcohol.

Vegetables, meat, and other protein foods should be incorporated into your diet. Make sure to get a lean protein cut. Moreover, in lieu of deep frying your food in oil, you should minimize the use of oil by baking or steaming your food. Avoiding foods with high cholesterol levels and fats is also important as it makes you vulnerable to heart attacks or potential cardiac arrests.

Destress Yourself Mentally

Having suffered a cardiac arrest and going through surgery is a very painful and traumatic experience. Thus, it is not surprising when patients complain of anxiety and depression. This requires you to relax and destress your minds. It is important to unburden yourself. Music, fresh air, etc. are immensely helpful to destress your minds. If you believe that you cannot handle the depression, you should make an appointment with a counselor and discuss what’s causing your apprehensions.

Telemedicine can also be of help. You can have an expert prepare a diet chart for you telling you what to eat and what not to eat. Plus, you can also have a special chart explaining activities to indulge in.