Welcome to Dales Heart
 

Guidance

Written below is some guidance that we can provide arising from questions that our members ask us.

Remember, however, if in any doubt consult your doctor or ring 999 in the first instance.

Don’t ignore central chest pain.

A pain in the centre of your chest can be a symptom of a heart attack. See below for symptoms.

Don’t waste time

Too many people waste time doubting their symptoms and wondering whether they should call an ambulance. If you get central chest pain, call 999 immediately. Time is of the essence. If you get treatment within the first hour, called the Golden Hour, so that clot-busting drugs can be given or stents inserted, your chances of avoiding damage to the heart muscle and recovering well from any heart attack are increased considerably.

Always carry your GTN spray with you.

If you start with chest pains stop what you are doing and rest. Put one GTN tablet or one spray under your tongue and wait 5 minutes.
If you still have discomfort, repeat with another tablet or spray and wait 5 minutes.
If you still have discomfort you need hospital attention so call 999

If you have had heart bypass surgery

If you have had heart bypass surgery your specialist will let you know if you are likely to get angina again after the operation. Sometimes in surgery it is not always possible to achieve complete revascularisation and therefore not possible to get rid of angina altogether so there may well be a good reason to continue carrying your spray with you. If your specialist tells you that you will no longer get angina because any narrowing of the coronary arteries has been completely rectified then it will not be necessary to carry a GTN spray. The most important thing is that if you find you are getting unexpected chest pain or using your GTN spray a lot after bypass surgery you need to talk to your GP without delay.

Common symptoms of a heart attack

  • The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from one person to another. Some common symptoms include:

  • Central chest pain (pain in the centre of the chest).

  • The pain can spread to the arms, neck or jaw.

  • Feeling sick or sweaty as well as having central chest pain.

  • Feeling short of breath as well as having central chest pain.

Less common symptoms of a heart attack

Other symptoms are less common but you shpuld not ignore them. These include:

  • A dull pain, ache or ‘heavy’ feeling in the chest

  • A mild discomfort in the chest that makes you feel generally unwell.

  • A pain in your chest that can spread to the back or stomach.

  • A chest pain that feel like a bad episode of indigestion.

  • Felling light-headed or dizzy as well as having chest pain.

Women are more likely to experience these symptoms

 
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