|Heart attack happens when heart muscle tissue dies because of oxygenated blood has been cut off. Usually, a blood clot gets stuck in a coronary artery that has been narrowed through atherosclerosis. The blood supply is cut off and the heart tissue beyond the clot is starved of oxygen. A heart attack can feel just like angina, except the pain doesn’t go away with rest and medication. If the heart attack damages the heart’s electrical system, or if a lot of the heart muscle is affected, the heart may stop beating. This is cardiac arrest.
Signs and symptoms of angina and a heart attack
Pain may feel like - Heaviness, tightness, squeezing, pressure, crushing, indigestion, aching jaw, sore arms
Other signs denying anything is wrong, fear, pale skin, nausea, vomiting, sweating, shortness of breath, fatigue, hock, unconsciousness, cardiac arrest
First aid for angina / heart attack
There is a difference between the two. You can’t tell the difference as a first aider but the first aid for both is the same.
1. Begin ESM, scene survey, question the history. Ask, “Where does it hurt?” “Have you had this pain before?” or “Do you have medication for this pain?”
2. Do a primary survey
3. As soon as you recognize the signs and symptoms of angina/heart attack, call, or have a bystander call, for medical help. If you have to leave to call put casualty at rest before going.
4. Place casualty in the most comfortable resting position to reduce the work the heart has to do. This is usually the semi-setting position but may vary according to the casualty.
5. Loosen any tight clothing and reassure casualty to lessen fear and worry, again to rest the heart.
Signs and symptoms of heart failure
• Inappropriate shortness of breath
• Difficulty breathing when lying flat
• Blueness around the lips, fingernail beds, ears and other parts of the body
• Swelling of the ankles
• Coughing up frothy, pink fluid