The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has launched a campaign to educate them on the early symptoms of a heart attack. It also encourages them to call the emergency number earlier if they experience those symptoms. According to the NHS, three in four people in the country confuse a heart attack with a cardiac arrest. It also said that thousands of lives could be saved if people knew about the early symptoms of a heart attack. The same can be said for India where over 28,000 people died of it in 2019. So, what are the early signs of a heart attack, and why is it important to seek early medical intervention? For answers to these questions, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. Bharat Kukreti, Associate Director, Cardiology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
Why Early Medical Intervention Is Crucial In A Heart Attack
In a heart attack, there is a loss of supply of blood to the myocardium, which is the heart muscle. As soon as this happens, the cardiac muscles start dying, explained Dr. Kukreti. Hence, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to restore the supply of blood to the heart so that the heart muscles can be protected, he added. Protecting heart muscles reduces the risk of mortality and morbidity. If heart muscles are damaged, patients feel breathless, fatigued, and there is a danger to life. Hence, it is crucial to detect and treat a heart attack early to save the patient’s life and ascertain the quality of his/her future.
Early Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
(Photo Credit: Freepik)
As you saw, knowing and acting on the early symptoms of a heart attack can save people’s lives. Hence, the following are the early symptoms of a heart attack:
- Discomfort in the chest
- Heaviness in chest
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness in some cases
- Acidity or burping that some people confuse with gastritis
In some cases, a heart attack is missed as the patient doesn’t experience any symptoms. It is known as a silent heart attack.
Some other symptoms of a heart attack, according to the US Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) include:
- Discomfort or pain in the neck, jaw, or back
- Discomfort or pain in one or both the arms
You must not ignore any of these symptoms and consult a doctor immediately.
According to Dr. Kukreti, the early symptoms of a heart attack, especially chest pain, burping, a little sweating, and uneasiness, are often misunderstood to be caused by acid reflux or gastritis. However, if you experience any of these, consult your doctor immediately. Those suffering from diabetes and hypertension must take proper care as they are more at risk of cardiac diseases. Hence, they should not take these symptoms lightly and get themselves checked at least once by a doctor, who is equipped to carry out heart-related tests. Remember, an early diagnosis and care can save your life and ensure its quality in the future.
(With inputs from Dr. Bharat Kukreti, Associate Director, Cardiology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram)
Photo Credit: Freepik