Archive for September 7th, 2006

The Warning Signs That Could Save Your Life!

September 7, 2006

34767223.jpgThe latest issue of Circulation, a Journal of the American Heart Association had this interesting article on symptoms which should not be taken for granted.  These symptoms actually occur among patients prior to their Sudden Cardiac Death!  This study interests me because a close friend of the family apparently died of sudden cardiac death… but this new study refutes the notion that Sudden Cardiac death is actually not sudden after all!

The study involved analyzing data surrounding the circumstances among 400 patients who suffered sudden cardiac arrest. They looked at what were the symptoms preceeding the apparent death.

These are the symptoms that should warrant immediate attention…meaning if you have them, seek medical help!

  1. 22 percent of patients had experienced angina (chest pain) for 120 minutes.
  2. Dyspnea (difficulty breathing) was present in 15 percent of patients for 30 minutes
  3. Nausea or vomiting in 7 percent for 120 minutes
  4. Dizziness or fainting in 5 percent for 10 minutes

There are however 25 percent of the patients with no warning symptoms at all. The investigators likewise noted that in 90 percent of cases, symptoms lasted for at least 5 minutes and longer before the patient collapsed.

Apparently the authors concluded that “These symptoms are misinterpreted, suppressed, or denied despite the presence of a preexisting cardiac disease or cardiac risk factors”.

It is very important that the above symptoms should be addressed immediately especially if you have a history of heart disease and other risk factors, such as diabetes, smoking, and chronic lung disease.  These are the associated conditions in more than half of the patients studied.

A mere chest pain may already be a red flag for a worst scenario.  Likewise if you have risk factors… persistent nausea and vomiting may herald the onset of an impending heart attack!

It’s Better To Be Cautious Than Be Sorry!