You have just eaten a big meal and feel a burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn, right? Probably, but there’s a chance the chest pain is caused by reduced blood flow to your heart (angina) or an actual heart attack.Heartburn, angina and heart attack may feel very much alike. But how to differentiate heart burn, angina and heart attack ?
The usual symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest. It can be accompanied by: a sour taste at the back of the throat, or. a feeling of food being stuck in the throat. Heart burn also can be a sign of heart attack.
Angina pectoris, commonly known as angina, is the sensation of chest pain, pressure, or squeezing, often due to inadequate blood supply of the heart muscle from obstruction or spasm of the heart blood vessels. Also can call as “a strangling feeling in the chest”. Unstable angina is a warning sign that a heart attack may happen soon, so it requires treatment right away.
A heart attack, is permanent damage to the heart muscle. It means death of the heart tissue due to lack of blood supply. Heart attack need immediate medical care to save the person .
What Happens During a Heart Attack?
The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood to nourish it. The coronary arteries provide the heart with this critical blood supply. Any blockage in the this supply of blood , heart muscle becomes “starved” for oxygen. Within a short time, death of heart muscle cells occurs, causing permanent damage. The blockage of blood vessels usually caused by narrowing of blood vessels or blockage of vessels by fatty matter, calcium, proteins, and inflammatory cells build up within the arteries.
Symptoms of Heart attack
The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person. Some people can have few symptoms and are surprised to learn they’ve had a heart attack.
Some people don’t have symptoms at all. Heart attacks that occur without any symptoms or with very mild symptoms are called silent heart attacks.
It is more likely to be a heart attack if you experience:
– a sensation of pain, or of pressure, tightness, squeezing, or burning
– the gradual onset of pain over the course of a few minutes
– pain in a diffuse area, including the middle of the chest
– pain that extends to the left arm, neck, jaw, or back
– pain or pressure accompanied by other signs, such as difficulty breathing, a cold sweat, or sudden nausea
– pain or pressure that appears during or after physical exertion or emotional stress or while you are at rest.
Symptoms that are less likely to be heart attack include:
– sharp or knifelike pain brought on by breathing or coughing
– sudden stabbing pain that lasts only a few seconds
– pain clearly on one side or another
– pain confined to one small spot
– pain that lasts for many hours or days without any other symptoms
– pain reproduced by pressing on the chest or with body movement.
What to do if a person experience chest pain suspecting heart attack?
Many people delay treatment because they doubt they really are having a heart attack. They don’t want to bother or worry their friends and family. But it is always better to be safe than sorry. Early medical intervention increases the chance of survival.
– If you or someone you are with experiences chest discomfort or other heart attack symptoms, call the emergency ambulance service right away.
– Do not wait more than 5 minutes to make the call. While your first impulse may be to drive yourself or the heart attack victim to the hospital, it is better to call Emergency medical services personnel can begin treatment on the way to the hospital and are trained to revive a person if his heart stops.
– If you witness heart attack symptoms in someone and are unable to reach emergency medical service , drive the person to the hospital. If you are experiencing heart attack symptoms, do not drive yourself to the hospital unless you have no other choice.
– If the victim is already on any medication ,like aspirin or GTN serve the medication.
– If heart stops , immediately perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation if you are trained.