This Heart Attack – Recognising & Reacting to the Symptoms

May 29, 2018| Health and Wellbeing /

Around 55,000 Australians per year will suffer from a heart attack – that’s one every ten minutes.

But how do you know if you or someone around you is having a heart attack? And when do you call 000?

Rewind – what is a heart attack?

Though we may get wiser with age, getting older can have some unwelcome side effects on our bodies. One such effect is that plaque starts to build up in the pathways through which blood flows to the heart.

If this plaque breaks off, our body tries to mend the damage by creating blood clots.

A heart attack follows if these clots suddenly and completely block the flow of blood to the heart.

Recognising the symptoms

If you suffer a heart attack, you may experience one or a combination of any of these symptoms.

Remember that symptoms will vary from person to person.

  • Pain, heaviness or tightness in chest
  • Aching or pressure around neck and/or shoulders
  • Discomfort, pain down the left arm (but can be the right arm also or both arms)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Dizziness
  • Dull ache between shoulder blades
  • Burning or choking feeling in throat

Reducing your risk

The best way to decrease your risk of heart attack is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight and treating high blood pressure and cholesterol can help your heart stay happy and healthy.
— Associate Professor Ron Sultana, Director of Emergency Medicine, Epworth HealthCare

There are other factors that can increase your risk including diabetes, depression and family history.

You can chat to your local GP to find out more about your risk of heart attack.

Reacting to the symptoms

Around 9,000 Australians will die from a heart attack each year, so if you begin to experience the symptoms, don’t be scared to call an ambulance – a paramedic would much rather respond to a call that turns out to be a mistake than arrive at the scene too late.

Always call 000 in an emergency.



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