Brian May says he’s ‘grateful to be alive’ after heart attack
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Heart attacks are a serious medical emergency. They are often caused by heart disease or blood clots which stops the normal flow of blood to your heart. Early symptoms of heart disease should not be ignored and there are five key symptoms to watch out for.
It’s important to act quickly if you experience any warnings signs of a heart attack.
Although some attacks are sudden and intense, most start slowly with victims experience mild pain or discomfort at first.
Most Brits dismiss mild chest pain, but it’s important to get this checked out as it could point towards heart disease or a future heart attack.
A common early warning sign of a heart attack is discomfort in the centre of your chest which lasts for more than a few minutes.
You may feel a sense of fullness, pain, pressure or squeezing in the centre of your chest.
This pain or discomfort may go away and then return.
Not all heart attack sufferers experience severe chest pain, many Brits dismiss the early warning signs for other ailments such as indigestion.
But it’s essential to call 911 if you experience any kind of chest pain no matter how mild as it’s the most common symptom of an imminent attack.
Pain in other parts of your body
Early warning signs can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms (usually the left arm is affected by if can affect both arms), the back, neck, jaw or abdomen.
It can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to other parts of your body.
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
Some heart attack victims feel lightheaded or dizzy in the run-up to their attack
Others can feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety a bit like having a panic attack.
Such symptoms should not be ignored especially if you are feeling any sort of pain or discomfort in your chest.
Less common symptoms
Several symptoms may not point towards a heart attack if experienced in isolation, but if they are felt alongside other warnings signs they should be taken very seriously.
These include; feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting), coughing or wheezing.
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath might not be anything to worry about.
But it could be an early sign of a heart attack or that you are having problems with your lungs or airway and should seek medical help.
The NHS recommends you should call 999 if you are experiencing shortness of breath combined with another symptom such as if you feel sick or if your chest feels tight or heavy.
The NHS say: “It’s the combination of symptoms that’s important in determining whether a person is having a heart attack and not the severity of chest pain.”
They add: “If you suspect the symptoms of a heart attack, call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
“Do not worry if you have doubts. Paramedics would rather be called out to find an honest mistake has been made than be too late to save a person’s life.”
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