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Introduction The Heart Attack Patient Guide is a simple explanation of what a person is likely to experience when having a heart attack. The guide describes how a person is treated immediately during the attack, upon arrival at the hospital, to months and years later. The first part of the guide discusses the basics of heart function, heart attack symptoms, emergency care, medications, tests and treatments performed in the hospital. The second part is a comprehensive guide that covers short-term recovery in the cardiac care unit of the hospital, including details about bypass and angioplasty recovery, discharge from the hospital, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise, long-term recovery, medication, depression, and lifestyle modification. Heart function The heart works as a muscular pump with blood vessels leading in and out. The blood flows from your lungs, where it picks up oxygen, into the pump (your heart) and is pumped out to the rest of the body. Once the blood has delivered...
In 2002 the American Heart Association revised its guidelines
for preventing heart disease. They include the following:
Improve Cholesterol. People with at least two risk factors,
and a 10-year risk for heart disease or stroke of more than 20
percent, should aim for LDL ("bad cholesterol") levels of less than
100 mg/dL. Statins are now used in more cases.
Keep Blood Pressure Low. People in normal health should have
a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg or less. According to new
guidelines, Blood pressure readings of 120/80 are considered
normal, readings of 140/90 or higher indicate hypertension, and
readings in between the two are called pre-hypertension. Patients
with diabetes or chronic kidney disease should maintain blood
pressure readings of 130/80 mm Hg or less, while those without
these complications should have readings be no higher than 140/90
Exercise. Everyone in normal health should engage in at
least moderate physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on
Pressure in the middle of my chest.
I feel like I can’t breathe in all the way.
My left arm feels funny.
My back hurts.
My heart is beating really fast.
This was me last Sunday. I spent some time lost in feeling crappy, but then my brain finally kicked in. In February, I wrote a post about women and heart attack , so I looked it up. Lo and behold, my symptoms sounded very much like those experienced by women when having a heart attack.
On the other hand, there was also other explanations for my symptoms. I just got out of a week with very high pain levels, during which I had taken more of the “big painkillers.” They are notoriously hard on my stomach and my GERD had been acting up. When it does, I often experience the sensation of pressure and back pain. As well, I’d been on a lovely walk in the woods the day before during which I took a lot of photographs and my left shoulder was feeling the effects. Lastly, I was exhausted fr...
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