Thursday, April 19, 2012

More on Ambulance Story: Heart Attack Risk

Dear Madame L,

I hope you'll encourage your readers to take a look at this Wall Street Journal article about the consequences of ignoring the signs of heart attack and delaying treatment.

I'm thinking particularly of your reader who declined to wait for am ambulance when some other people called one, thinking he/she may have been suffering symptoms of a heart attack.

After reading this article, I think those other people were right to call am ambulance, as they saw the person lying down as if tired, and the person probably didn't answer coherently when they first started asking questions.


A Concerned Reader

Dear Concerned,

Madame L thanks you for your concern and hopes that all her Dear and Gentle Readers will read the article (and thanks, by the way, for the link). The article begins:

The advice sounds very simple. The best way to survive a heart attack is:
1. Recognize the symptoms.
2. Call 911.
3. Chew an aspirin while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.
But every year, 133,000 Americans die of heart attacks, and another 300,000 die of sudden cardiac arrest—largely because they didn't get help in time.

The article points out some of the symptoms beyond the Hollywood-type dramatic chest pain and explains that even when people think they're just having heartburn or they're just tired and stressed, or think they're too busy or the doctor is too busy or they don't want to bother someone, and even when they go to the hospital and a doctor tells them there's nothing wrong, they need to pay attention.

Madame L also found an interesting graphic in the article, showing that even 10 or 20 minutes per day of exercise can help prevent heart attacks:

So, again, Dear Readers, please read the article and please make a pledge to yourself and your Significant Other that you will pay attention and take care of yourself!


Madame L


1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

How about giving us list of symptoms in order of commonality - and how symptoms in women can be different? Some are surprising.

I saved a life once after one of my Saudi subordinates complained of a tooth-ache during a trip to the United States. His teeth were black - literally - from chain-smoking and never brushing, so we discounted this... along with his shortness of breath when we later arrived in Mile High Denver. Only when he collapsed and bloodied his mouth did I put a hand on his forehead and realize that he was in shock. I upended him and called 911, but it was still a very close call. He survived... and his other Saudi colleagues went into his office and destroyed his ash-trays and cigarette stash.

In Islam, alcohol is Haram - forbidden - but tobacco is Mamnuah - "only" strongly discouraged.