Heart Attacks and Preventing Cardiac Disease

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In the new era of latest technology and gadgets, many diseases have been developed since most people nowadays tend to do their daily activities in one just click of a button. They forgot to be more  active and practice healthy living styles. Based on the latest data from the World Health Organization, non communicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and  diabetes, cardiogenic shock, are the leading cause of mortality in the world. These diseases are preventable if people are  conscious with their health and lifestyle. Take an example of heart disease and stroke. With proper nutrition and exercise these diseases are highly preventable. Cardiovascular disease (also called heart disease) is a class of disease that involves the heart, the blood vessels or both. Complication of such disease may lead to a very crucial and life threatening cerebrovascular accident( CVA) or stroke. This disturbance is due to either ischemia (lack  of blood flow) or hemorrhage. What is not preventable is the occurrence of heart attack, a life  threatening condition due the complication of CVD and CVA. A heart attack generally causes chest pain  for more than 15 minutes, but it can also have no symptoms at all. Many people who experience a heart attack have warning signs hours, days or weeks in advance. Someone having a significant and serious cardiac event may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, tightness, fullness or squeezing pain in the center of the chest
  • Shortness of breath or discomfort in breathing
  • Discomfort or pain spreading beyond the chest to the shoulders, stomach, neck, jaw, teeth, or one or both arms
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting or lower level of consciousness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea

If the Person is Unconscious and Not Breathing:

If they’re not breathing, they are in respiratory arrest and the current advice states that in this situation, they are also likely to be in cardiac arrest (cardiac arrest is a condition where the heart has stopped beating effectively). It’s best to treat them as if they are in cardiac arrest, rather than waste valuable time looking for  a pulse. The latest guidelines suggest that lay persons should not try to find a pulse. Instead, CPR should begin immediately on anyone who is unresponsive and not breathing normally since even a delay of just a minute or two spend looking for a pulse can have a very substantial detrimental  effect on the outcome. If the patient is not breathing, call for help immediately, stating that the casualty is not  breathing. You should also provide resuscitation until the patient begins to breathe or the  paramedics arrive.

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