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Do you know what a heart attack is?

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 30 Replies

Yes, I have made a similar post before, but I think it's important information. I was having a conversation with a friend a couple of months ago and realized that I'm almost postive that she didn't know the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest.

So my questions for you:

Do you know what a heart attack is?

Do you know the symptoms of a heart attack?

Do you know what to do if you suspect you or someone around you is having a heart attack? 

Do you know basic CPR well enough that you would be comfortable actually doing it?



This is NOT intended to be a "you're so stupid!" post. I took care of a 26 year old heart attack patient recently. It's information that everyone needs.

Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 28, 2016 at 9:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Nov. 28, 2016 at 9:12 PM

bump

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Nov. 28, 2016 at 9:13 PM
Yes actually.
I work in cardiology.
krazymom2boyz
by Platinum Member on Nov. 28, 2016 at 9:15 PM
Considering that until I read your post, I thought they were the same thing.... I'm thinking I would like to ask you to share your information please!
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Nov. 28, 2016 at 10:03 PM

A cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating. There can be a number of reasons that that happens.

A heart attack is when there is a blockage in the artery that gives the hear blood. It's like a stroke in the heart, basically. In some cases, the lack of blood flow affects the heart so much that it causes cardiac arrest. In many cases, though, it causes chest pain, shortness of breath, jaw or arm pain, palpitations, indigestion, etc. It can be fixed emergently with a stent that opens up the artery (or sometimes emergency bypass surgery to re-route those vessels around blockages)

Quoting krazymom2boyz: Considering that until I read your post, I thought they were the same thing.... I'm thinking I would like to ask you to share your information please!


lalalamama
by on Nov. 28, 2016 at 10:07 PM
Yes, I know the difference.
HEART DISEASE KILLS MORE WOMEN THEN BREAST CANCER DOES!!!!!!
We should all pause and think this through.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Nov. 28, 2016 at 10:11 PM
Aren't there 2 different kinds of heart attacks? Plumbing vs electrical? And signs/symptoms are dependent on age, sex, weight, etc and can include sooooo many different symptoms? Like from feeling like you have acid reflux to a backache to the typical pain

Quoting Anonymous 1:

A cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating. There can be a number of reasons that that happens.

A heart attack is when there is a blockage in the artery that gives the hear blood. It's like a stroke in the heart, basically. In some cases, the lack of blood flow affects the heart so much that it causes cardiac arrest. In many cases, though, it causes chest pain, shortness of breath, jaw or arm pain, palpitations, indigestion, etc. It can be fixed emergently with a stent that opens up the artery (or sometimes emergency bypass surgery to re-route those vessels around blockages)

Quoting krazymom2boyz: Considering that until I read your post, I thought they were the same thing.... I'm thinking I would like to ask you to share your information please!

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Nov. 28, 2016 at 10:28 PM

Eh....kind of. An "electrical" heart attack would be demand ischemia, which means that your heart is beating so fast that it isn't able to get enough oxygen to itself to meet the demand. That's far less common and you can't differnetiate between the two without the same invasive test (cardiac cath). You can have a cardiac arrest for electrical reasons, too, but that wouldn't be called a "heart attack."

Symptoms are pretty varied. You'll hear a lot that women have "atypical" symptoms, but the truth is that men do, too. Symptoms are individual, not so much dependent on age/sex/weight/etc. That's one of the big problems in diagnosis- coronary artery disease (CAD, when it is actively causing problems is a heart attack) can masquerade as many other things. We had a patient recently who had been treated for his "GERD" for three years or so. His heart was literally hanging on by a thread by the time he actually had pictures taken. He was rushed to urgent bypass surgery.

The majority of patients that I've seen have known something was wrong, though. They may have been in denial, but their symptoms weren't their "normal" reflux symptoms. Or they didn't follow the patterns that muscle pain has in the past.

Quoting Anonymous 3: Aren't there 2 different kinds of heart attacks? Plumbing vs electrical? And signs/symptoms are dependent on age, sex, weight, etc and can include sooooo many different symptoms? Like from feeling like you have acid reflux to a backache to the typical pain
Quoting Anonymous 1:

A cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating. There can be a number of reasons that that happens.

A heart attack is when there is a blockage in the artery that gives the hear blood. It's like a stroke in the heart, basically. In some cases, the lack of blood flow affects the heart so much that it causes cardiac arrest. In many cases, though, it causes chest pain, shortness of breath, jaw or arm pain, palpitations, indigestion, etc. It can be fixed emergently with a stent that opens up the artery (or sometimes emergency bypass surgery to re-route those vessels around blockages)

Quoting krazymom2boyz: Considering that until I read your post, I thought they were the same thing.... I'm thinking I would like to ask you to share your information please!



ravenseeyore
by Bronze Member on Nov. 28, 2016 at 10:40 PM

Knowing the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest can help save a persons life.  Also knowing that a woman can have different symptoms than a man has for a heart attack. 

A heart attack is one thing that I do not want to go through again.  My primary care said they saw nothing to worry about when I complained of chest pain after climbing a flight of stairs.  I went up and down those stairs several times a day, every day that I worked.  Most times it didn't bother me at all.  When I had my heart attack I just did not feel good, then I thought I was having the worst asthma attack of my life. My husband called for an ambulance.  I spent a total of 21 days in a total of 3 hospitals.  The ambulance transported me to the nearest hospital, which I understand was based on protocol. But they did not have a cardiologist on staff. 

When they finally got in touch with the team of Cardiologists on call for them, this took almost 3 hours. The Dr said to have me transported to where he was already working on another patient.  (It would make it quicker for him to start taking care of me).    I was in that hospital for 13 days until they stabilized me enough to transport me to the 3rd hospital, where I stayed for another 8 days. I came home with 2 stents. And one artery they did nothing to, they left it at 100% blocked.  

I saw that original Dr in April when we were scheduling the replacement of my ICD generator.  He remembered seeing me while I was in the hospital in 2008, and he said he thinks I'm doing great and have come further than he expected I would in 8 years. At first he had a hard time understanding why that statement made me cry.  Until I explained that there is so much I still can't do, I was becoming frustrated. He told me that was a good sign because it means that I'm still fighting and have not given up. 

It is very important to learn the symptoms of a heart attack as opposed to cardiac arrest.  The knowledge could save your own life or the life of a close friend or family member.  Learn CPR it can save lives.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Nov. 28, 2016 at 10:54 PM
So how do you know whether to be concerned or not? What if you go to the Dr and like that guy, Dr says GERD or anxiety etc..

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Eh....kind of. An "electrical" heart attack would be demand ischemia, which means that your heart is beating so fast that it isn't able to get enough oxygen to itself to meet the demand. That's far less common and you can't differnetiate between the two without the same invasive test (cardiac cath). You can have a cardiac arrest for electrical reasons, too, but that wouldn't be called a "heart attack."

Symptoms are pretty varied. You'll hear a lot that women have "atypical" symptoms, but the truth is that men do, too. Symptoms are individual, not so much dependent on age/sex/weight/etc. That's one of the big problems in diagnosis- coronary artery disease (CAD, when it is actively causing problems is a heart attack) can masquerade as many other things. We had a patient recently who had been treated for his "GERD" for three years or so. His heart was literally hanging on by a thread by the time he actually had pictures taken. He was rushed to urgent bypass surgery.

The majority of patients that I've seen have known something was wrong, though. They may have been in denial, but their symptoms weren't their "normal" reflux symptoms. Or they didn't follow the patterns that muscle pain has in the past.

Quoting Anonymous 3: Aren't there 2 different kinds of heart attacks? Plumbing vs electrical? And signs/symptoms are dependent on age, sex, weight, etc and can include sooooo many different symptoms? Like from feeling like you have acid reflux to a backache to the typical pain

Quoting Anonymous 1:

A cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating. There can be a number of reasons that that happens.

A heart attack is when there is a blockage in the artery that gives the hear blood. It's like a stroke in the heart, basically. In some cases, the lack of blood flow affects the heart so much that it causes cardiac arrest. In many cases, though, it causes chest pain, shortness of breath, jaw or arm pain, palpitations, indigestion, etc. It can be fixed emergently with a stent that opens up the artery (or sometimes emergency bypass surgery to re-route those vessels around blockages)

Quoting krazymom2boyz: Considering that until I read your post, I thought they were the same thing.... I'm thinking I would like to ask you to share your information please!

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Nov. 28, 2016 at 11:10 PM
There is no way to know without further testing unfortunately. If it were me and I truly felt that something was wrong beyond the diagnosis I was offered, I would request a consult with a cardiologist. A better bet would be to go right an emergency room when you have active symptoms. Many people have coronary artery disease (which causes heart attacks when it gets worse quickly) and don't know it until they need bypass surgery.

Quoting Anonymous 3: So how do you know whether to be concerned or not? What if you go to the Dr and like that guy, Dr says GERD or anxiety etc..

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Eh....kind of. An "electrical" heart attack would be demand ischemia, which means that your heart is beating so fast that it isn't able to get enough oxygen to itself to meet the demand. That's far less common and you can't differnetiate between the two without the same invasive test (cardiac cath). You can have a cardiac arrest for electrical reasons, too, but that wouldn't be called a "heart attack."

Symptoms are pretty varied. You'll hear a lot that women have "atypical" symptoms, but the truth is that men do, too. Symptoms are individual, not so much dependent on age/sex/weight/etc. That's one of the big problems in diagnosis- coronary artery disease (CAD, when it is actively causing problems is a heart attack) can masquerade as many other things. We had a patient recently who had been treated for his "GERD" for three years or so. His heart was literally hanging on by a thread by the time he actually had pictures taken. He was rushed to urgent bypass surgery.

The majority of patients that I've seen have known something was wrong, though. They may have been in denial, but their symptoms weren't their "normal" reflux symptoms. Or they didn't follow the patterns that muscle pain has in the past.

Quoting Anonymous 3: Aren't there 2 different kinds of heart attacks? Plumbing vs electrical? And signs/symptoms are dependent on age, sex, weight, etc and can include sooooo many different symptoms? Like from feeling like you have acid reflux to a backache to the typical pain

Quoting Anonymous 1:

A cardiac arrest is when your heart stops beating. There can be a number of reasons that that happens.

A heart attack is when there is a blockage in the artery that gives the hear blood. It's like a stroke in the heart, basically. In some cases, the lack of blood flow affects the heart so much that it causes cardiac arrest. In many cases, though, it causes chest pain, shortness of breath, jaw or arm pain, palpitations, indigestion, etc. It can be fixed emergently with a stent that opens up the artery (or sometimes emergency bypass surgery to re-route those vessels around blockages)

Quoting krazymom2boyz: Considering that until I read your post, I thought they were the same thing.... I'm thinking I would like to ask you to share your information please!

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You must be a member to reply to this post.
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