Recognizing the signs of a heart attack can be the single most important element in dividing the result between life and death. If you are in constant contact with a person who suffers from heart ailments that contain a serious potential for leading to a heart attack, you should definitely get to know the signs of onset at least to the degree that you can recognize a TV show you are likely to enjoy from the promos. These signs also apply to those who have not been diagnosed with a heart problem.
Pay attention to any vocalization related to discomfort or pain in the chest. When a person at risk for a heart attack is moved to make any kind of open recognition that they are experiencing even slight discomfort in the chest area, take notice. An approaching heart attack doesn’t have to arrive in the form of extreme pain around the heart, however. Acknowledgement of minor aching in the chest area may only be heartburn or it may be the sign that a visit to the hospital in the immediate future. Extra attention should always be paid to complaints along the lines of the discomfort arriving in the form of feeling like a heavy object has been situated the chest. Any kind of analogy to a large animal sitting on the chest should definitely be treated as a sign of the possible onset of a heart attack. Also be aware of words that indicate tightness, constriction, a sense of fullness in the chest or a sensation synonymous with the area experiencing squeezing.
Spreading of Pain
Signals of discomfort that can announce the later arrival of a heart attack do not need to be located distinctively around the area of the chest. Listen closely to a person’s complaints about painful feelings in both arms, but especially the left. Other parts of the body where soreness can become a sentinel for cardiac distress include neck, stomach, jaw, shoulders and other areas of the back. Usually a complaint in these areas that signal the approach of something more serious will be described less as a serious pain in itself than in terms of mild discomfort.
Shortness of Breath
If you are aware that a person has had heart problems and they are exhibiting noticeably difficulty in breathing when complaining about other symptoms, then it is time to take the complaints much more seriously. Keep in mind that trouble breathing can equally well be a sign of too much physical activity. If a person with heart problems is having trouble breathing and you are aware that they have not recently been physically active, this is a sign to treat the situation all the more seriously. Even if the only physical activity has been something as mundane as climbing a short flight of stairs and walking from the living room to the bathroom and back, you should inquire about other symptoms with an eye toward seeking emergency medical help.
When dealing with someone who is complaining about these symptoms that could signal a heart attack, either look for yourself or inquire about additional problems that could increase the likelihood that a cardiac situation may be arriving. Leading indicators of an approaching heart attack include things like the onset of nausea, dizziness or other signs of lightheadedness, cold sweats, increased heart rate and even psychological symptoms that arrive in the form of darkened emotional states like an approaching sense of gloom or feelings that the end is near.