The major types of cardiac emergencies are Angina and Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) or Cardiac arrest. To prevent fatality in both cases, early intervention is vital. Here are a few facts about heart emergencies:
1. Angina Petoris (Chest Pain)
Chest pain is common with persons suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Chest pain can be triggered by alcoholism, drinking, sedentary lifestyle, excessive smoking and family history of cardiac problems.
Angina or chest pain lowers blood flow to the heart. Typical symptoms include feelings of burning, heaviness, squeezing, tightness or pressure below the breast bone. Pain manifests in neck area, back, shoulders or upper abdomen. Other symptoms include nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue and sweating.
Angina is not the same as heart attack. In case of angina, chest pain manifest only for a short time-typically 5 to 10 minutes. It can be treated using nitroglycerin, which is a prescription medicine. It must not be treated lightly as it can lead to heart stroke.
This is one of the heart emergencies is caused by build-up of plaque in arteries leading into the heart. But muscle spasm, stomach ulcer, infection of upper respiratory tract and bladder disease may result in chest pain. The best plan would be to consult best cardiology doctor in India.
2. Cardiac Arrest (Arrhythmia)
One of the serious heart emergencies is cardiac arrest. Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) is an unexpected, sudden death caused by abnormal rhythm of the heart. SCD is responsible for nearly half of cardiac fatalities. Risk of SCD rises with age.
There are four crucial steps to intervene quickly to prevent SCD:
- Early access to care: It is essential to contact emergency care as quickly as possible.
- Early CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation): One of the best gifts you can provide for friends or family is to learn CPR. In case it is performed properly, CPR can save lives till arrival of medical emergency help.
- Early defibrillation: In majority of cases, SCD is connected to ventricular fibrillation. Doing quick defibrillation (providing electric shock) is vital to turn heart rhythm into the natural heartbeat. Automated external defibrillators (AED) are available in public places like airports, golf courses and malls, for the sake of emergency situations.
- Early care: following AED, majority of patients need care in hospital to prevent future occurrence.
These 4 steps can increase rate of survival by as much as 90% when conducted in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest. Every minute longer, the rate of survival decreases by 10%.
3. What Is CPR?
It is an emergency technique conducted to help a person whose breathing or heart beat has stopped. In case the heart stops, the circulation of blood in the body also ceases.
CPR consists of a mix of manual compression of the chest and ‘mouth to mouth’, artificial respiration. By doing this, the helper can do substitute breathing of the patient and help circulate blood in his body. Even hands only CPR can provide help without ‘mouth to mouth’ procedure.
4. What Is AED?
Most are designed to be utilized by non-medical persons such as police, flight attendants, lifeguards, fire station personnel, teachers, security guards etc.
The aim is to provide AED as fast as possible to treat heart emergencies. AED along with CPR can increase rates of survival for cardiac arrest. AED treats heart in an abnormal rhythm. In case heart is not having an abnormal rhythm, the heart fails to respond to electric current. CPR must be given till further arrival of medical help. One can seek help of cardiac surgeon India.