Monday, November 24, 2014

Heart Attack: A Traitor Disease

Alon Calinao Dy 

By Alon Calinao Dy: Over a million of Filipinos die every year because of heart attack. This disease can happen to anyone at anytime. It is a traitor disease since you won’t be able to find out when and where it will attack. It is one of the top causes of death among Filipinos, and perhaps, all people in the world.

What is heart attack?

There is a blocked artery and the heart can't get enough oxygen and it may be due to the build of plaque and blood clot that impedes the artery.

What can you do to avoid futher damage to the heart?

Don't wait for a miracle because you can do something about it. Act fast and get help quickly to save someone's life. 

  • Loosen any tight or restrictive clothing
  • Place the patient in 'W' position with knees raised and both feet on the ground so that the oxygen-rich blood can reach to the heart (just imagine the position of the pregnant woman who is delivering a baby). 
  • If not familiar with this position, lie down in a comfy position with your head up.
  • Check vital signs
  •  If you are non allergic to aspirin, this is a life-saving medicine for heart attack or unstable angina.
  • Use glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) spray or sublingual nitroglycerin as instructed.
  • Visit the nearest hospital and proceed immediately to the ER to have a 12-lead ECG and other laboratory works.
  • If the cardiologist confirms a blocked artery in the heart using 2D echo ultrasound and sees lab results, he may explain the situation and advise the responsible party to sign a consent for cardiac catherization in the Operating Room.

There are lots of people who are killed by this leading disease known as heart attack. Actually, time is crucial and don't delay any chest pain or discomfort. Call a doctor right away or visit the closest hospital if you don't know how to give first aid. You may notice that the patient may deny that he/she is just okay. 

Be observant and don't believe he/she said. Frequently, the denial is there concerning the real condition. If the patient complains a sharp needle-like pain and you notice the patient has pale, cool, and clammy skin, then this is an emergency case that needs immediate attention from the physician. 

Don't delay!