Heart attack symptoms: Three common signs where it is ‘vital to dial 999 immediately’

Heart attack symptoms: Three common signs where it is ‘vital to dial 999 immediately’

07/09/2021

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During a heart attack, you’ll be conscious and breathing, but it can quickly turn into a cardiac arrest – when the heart has stopped pumping blood around the body – where you will be unconscious and stop breathing. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) pointed out the most “common signs of a heart attack”. If you find yourself experiencing any of the following symptoms, the BHF says “it’s vital you dial 999 immediately”.

The first symptom to pay attention to is out-of-the blue and persistent chest pain or discomfort.

For some people, this might feel like the heart is being squeezed; for others, it might feel like a heavy chest.

Some might describe the uncomfortable sensation as “pressure” on the chest area.

“It can feel like indigestion or a burning sensation,” the BHF noted.

Another indication of a possible heart attack is when chest pain spreads to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.

The third common symptom of a heart attack is “feeling sick, sweaty, light-headed or short of breath”.

These aren’t the only symptoms of a heart attack, but they are more likely to occur than others.

Other signs of a heart attack can include “a sudden feeling of anxiety”, likened to a panic attack, and excessive coughing.

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“Heart attack symptoms can persist over days, or they can come on suddenly and unexpectedly,” added the BHF.

If you delay medical attention when suffering from any of these symptoms, you’re more likely to suffer from serious heart damage.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, do call 999, sit down and chew on an aspirin if you have one within arm’s reach.

Although it can be hard to do so, try your best to keep calm (to ease pressure on the heart).

Angina

If you have coronary heart disease, you might experience angina – i.e. chest pain.

When suffering from chest pain, the BHF advise you to “sit down and rest”.

You’re then instructed to take your glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) spray.

If the pain persists after a few minutes, you’re encouraged to take another dose of your prescribed spray.

After two sprays of the GTN medication, if you’re still experiencing chest pain, call 999.

Heartburn

An uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest area might be the result of heartburn.

Heartburn occurs after eating food, and it’s usually accompanied by a sour taste in your mouth.

Drinking water and taking heartburn medication should ease symptoms.

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