Heart attack warning signs ‘you should never ignore’, according to GP

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A heart attack is a life-threatening medical emergency that occurs when blood supply to the heart is suddenly cut off. Therefore, the moment you think someone is experiencing symptoms you should call 999.

With this in mind an NHS GP shared seven key signs of a heart attack that should not be ignored via a YouTube video. Doctor Khalid Zalmay, said: “When we have a heart attack (myocardial infarction), the blood supply to our heart suddenly stops.

“This could be down to a number of reasons. But what this causes is damage to the heart muscle.

“It is vital to get medical help urgently and to look out for signs and symptoms so that precious time is not wasted. Time is muscle, the more time is wasted, the more muscle in the heart can die!

“In this video we’ll go through seven important heart attack signs and symptoms to never ignore as picking up these early signs of a heart attack can help save a life.”

However, he warned that some of the most commonly known signs of a heart attack don’t affect everyone.

This includes chest pain, which is also known as angina. Dr Khalid continued: “Often if you ask people – chest pain comes up as the top symptoms – but it may also surprise you that some people may never get chest pain!

“Especially if they are diabetic and sometimes women tend to have slightly more vague symptoms.”

He listed the seven signs to look out for as:

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweatiness/clamminess
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Pains in other areas
  • Shortness of breath
  • Overwhelming feeling of anxiety.

“Here are the seven signs and symptoms of a heart attack that you should never ignore,” he said.

Chest pains

According to Dr Khalid chest pain or discomfort is the “most common” symptom people get.

He said: “It can be described as ‘feels like pressure’, squeezing or heaviness in the chest. It can also feel like indigestion or a burning sensation.”

Nausea and vomiting

This is caused by a phenomenon called cardiogenic nausea or vomiting, he explained.

Sweatiness or clamminess

According to Dr Khalid, when your heart muscle is dying, it may not be able to pump blood adequately.

He continued: “Remember we are alive and walking because we have constant blood pressure supplying our body and brain.

“If this blood pressure suddenly drops – not enough blood can get to the brain and we can feel lightheaded and dizzy.”

Dizziness or feeling lightheaded

“Some theories suggest it could be down to the stimulation of part of your nervous system, called your sympathetic nervous system,” Dr Khalid said. “This is your fight or flight response.”

Pains in other areas

These pains could be felt in the arms, jaw, neck and back. Dr Khalid said: “During a myocardial infarction it can feel as if the pain is spreading from your chest to your arms (usually the left arm, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and tummy.”

Shortness of breath

The heart pumps blood so it can circulate to your tissues as well as get oxygen from your lungs.

“If your heart can’t pump blood well (as is the case with a heart attack), you can feel short of breath,” he said.

Overwhelming feeling of anxiety

Dr Khalid added: “Physically a panic attack and a heart attack may be very similar.”

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