Symptoms of Heart Attack
When To Use An AED.
Knowing when to use an AED is essential for preventing further damage to the heart, increasing the odds of survival and stabilizing the victim, while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive.
The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort, which can include pressure, squeezing and aching. Usually, this lasts a few minutes and comes and goes. However, discomfort is often felt in other parts of the upper body, arms included. This may even extend to the teeth and jaw. It is important to recognize that not all victims of heart attack experience the same symptoms, nor to the same degree. Shortness of breath is common and not necessarily accompanied by chest pain, while abdominal pain and feelings of nausea, heartburn and vomiting may also relate to heart attack and pre-heart attack symptoms. Some people experience sweating, clammy skin and flu-like symptoms. Pain levels vary from person to person.
HeartSafe America recommends that you not ignore these symptoms, but seek medical help rather than risking collapse at work or while visiting a business. Fortunately, most businesses in America are required by law to have at least one AED on site and someone trained to use it. This, however, is meant for emergencies and in most cases use of an AED can be prevented by early detection and making lifestyle changes that can help prevent the progression of heart disease and the inevitability of cardiac arrest.
Women need to be particularly aware, as there is a prevailing attitude that they are less inclined toward heart disease and cardiac arrest. This is false. Just as many women as men have heart attacks; however, the symptoms are often not as severe in women as in men. This is because men tend to have plaque build-up in the coronary arteries, while women in the smaller arteries branching out from the coronary arteries.
Typically, AEDs are employed when a full-blown heart attack occurs. This usually involves extreme symptoms, collapse and sometimes the victim becomes unconscious. At HeartSafe America, we recommend American Heart Association Training, where you can learn to more fully recognize cardiac arrest symptoms and how to most effectively use an AED.