A friend and classmate of mine passed away this weekend of a heart attack. He was a retired officer of the Indian Armed Forces and fought the good fight against terrorists as part of his mission. Both his parents were in the armed forces and met, I understand when his mother, a doctor, tended to his father’s war wounds. I guess the “Nightingale Effect” then occurred. An unsung hero, he will be missed by his friends and family. His passing did strike close to home, as my own late father passed away over 30 years ago at the same age as my friend and even though we thought that there were no symptoms at that time, he must have been experiencing these for a while and passed away suddenly. The time that he could have been saved though were altered as I recall seeing and hearing the Hong Kong Police Officer come in and interview him while the ambulance was on it’s way (to presumably make sure that he was really having a heart attack) during his heart attack; precious minutes lost. Although some heart attacks can be sudden and intense like the one my Dad went through, most heart attacks begin slowly, with mild pain and symptoms. Knowing the symptoms can help save your life.
The warning signs of a heart attack include:
- Chest discomfort – An uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
- Discomfort in other areas of your upper body – Can include pain or discomfort in one or both of your arms or your back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath – With or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs – The other signs may also include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, arm numbness or extreme fatigue.
Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, call 911 or the equivalent in your country — make sure that don’t drive. Fast action can save your life or someone else’s. When you call 911/Emergency, paramedics can start providing care and let the Emergency Department know they’re on the way.