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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This Man Thinks He's Having A Heart Attack; Here's 5 Things He Can Do To Save His Life

African American Having Heart Attack

So you're having chest pains, and you think you might be having a heart attack. You are also showing other symptoms of a heart attack, such as: Fatigue and shortness of breath; Cold sweats or clammy skin; Indigestion, nausea and vomiting; Chest pain, pressure and discomfort; and Pain in the arm, upper abdomen, shoulder, back, throat, teeth and jaw. So what should you do to save your life?

What to do:

#1 - Surviving a heart attack first requires to know the signs mentioned above. So become familiar with them, and recognize what's happening if it happens.

#2 - If you are suffering from even a few of those symptoms (especially chest pains), do not wait even more than 5 minutes. Immediately call 911; do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. When they arrive, the paramedics can actually treat and stop a heart attack right there in the ambulance.

#3 - Patients on heart medication should follow their physician's instructions. For others, taking an aspirin may prevent the blood clot to the heart from getting worse. Don't swallow it whole, chew it and swallow it (it will absorb faster that way).

#4 - While waiting for the paramedics, try to stay calm. It's very important to sit or lay down. If you are feeling shortness of breath, breathe slower and deeper. Try and meditate.

#5 - Keep in mind the the chances of surviving cardiac arrest are very low, but the faster that treatment is administered, the less damage there will occur to the heart, and the greater your chance of survival.

Ways to prevent heart attacks
Watching your weight, exercising, keeping your cholesterol low, eating properly, and not smoking can all play a role in increasing the risk of a heart attack. Managing stress is also important. Research a few different breathing exercises, and do these every day to promote relaxation and stress relief in your body.

Facts About African Americans and Heart Attacks
According to a recent study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, adult African-Americans are twice as likely to die of a heart attack or heart failure than white adults. Four in 1,000 black men die from heart disease compared to 1.9 of 1,000 white men. Even among women, 2 in 1,000 blacks die of heart attacks or heart disease compared to 1 in 1,000 white females.

The study indicated that the most common death occurred from heart attacks, also known as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) where the heart stops beating. Heart attacks are caused by coronary artery blockage. When a heart attack occurs, patients need immediate defibrillation to start the heart or it will be fatal within minutes. Heart attacks are more likely to happen to people who have heart disease, and the risk of heart disease is double among African-American men and women than whites.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.