Last Monday, I bumped into my colleague F on my way out from our office building.
F just came back to work after surviving a heart attack last month. We were so happy for the fact that we were able to laugh at that very moment, since some of the people we knew didn’t make it like F. Some may say, F is lucky, some may say, F’s time in the big book has not come yet. But one thing is certain. Like many others before him who survived, F and these chosen few got the help they need just in time.
On that day when it happened F said, he had a very severe chest pain. The pain also felt down his left arm which was numbed too at that time. As soon as he arrived home, he asked his wife to drive him to the ER. I told F, that’s the step that made the difference and he survived. He should hug and thank his wife for that. We both recalled that one of our mutual friend lost his battle simply because he wanted to wait when his wife offered to take him to the ER.
Here is the summary of what the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said about surviving a heart attack:
Fast action is your best weapon against a heart attack. Because clot-busting drugs and other artery-opening treatments can stop a heart attack in its tracks. They can prevent or limit damage to the heart–but they need to be given immediately after symptoms begin. The sooner they are started, the more good they will do–and the greater the chances are for survival and a full recovery. To be most effective, they need to be given ideally within 1 hour of the start of heart attack symptoms.
I was told that asking your spouse to take you to the ER would be okay if there was no other options. But the best way is to call 911 – or whatever number it is in your country. The EMT (at least here in the U.S.) are trained to handle the emergency if someone has a heart attack. They would also carry all the equipment they need to prevent the victim from further heart damage or dying. But to F and me, we could only said, thanks God it’s over. F left with a big smile when we parted that day.
These are some Surviving Heart Attack related websites that you may browse for more information.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides this easy to follow page, describing about what is heart attack and related info.
- American Heart Association provides a dedicated page to describe Heart Attack, Stroke, Cardiac Arrest Warning Signs. Not only its easy to follow, the Heart Attack page contains links to Heart Attack related info that you don’t want to miss if you or someone you care have a heart problem.
- WebMD Heart Disease Guide is another source of information. While you’re there, please don’t forget to take a look at the ‘Hot Topics in Heart Disease’ sidebar. I love these healthy foods for heart slide show there. From what I know, most of these foods are low glycemic index.
- Avoid the Hoax. Finally, please, please! If you receive an email with the title, How to Survive a Heart Attack when Alone, don’t forward it to others. There are many websites like this one explaining that this is a hoax and it has been floating around on the Internet since 1999. I can’t believe it but it happens. Almost every 6 months or so someone with good intention would send me the same email.
Again, I’m so happy for my colleague F and his family. If you or someone you know have survived a heart attack or was a victim of a heart attack, please share with us here and let’s spread the words:
Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, you should still have it checked out. Fast action can save lives-maybe your own,
which I quoted from this NHLBI page.