Heart Attack or Stroke? Good advice.
I am not a doctor, but one of my hunting buddies is, he sent this out to several of us and I think it is some great advice for those of us who spend lots of time alone in the great outdoors.
Some pretty good advice, and I hope no one needs to use it...., but better to be prepared than sorry.
Subject: Heart Attack and Stroke
Stroke + Heart Attack LIFESAVER Actions -
This might be a lifesaver if we can remember the three questions!
Is It a Stroke?
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately,
the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain
damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now
doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
*Ask the individual to smile.
*Ask him or her to raise both arms.
*Ask the person to speak a simple sentence.
If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately
and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify
facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the
general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at
the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread
use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke
and prevent brain damage.
Heart Attack Self Help
A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10
people, you can bet that at least one life will be saved. Read this ... it could
save your life!!
Let's say it's 6:15 p.m. and you're driving home (alone, of course)
after an unusually hard day on the job. You're really tired, upset and
Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to
radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five
miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately, you don't know if
you'll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the gu y
that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.
HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE
Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without
help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint,
has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.
However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.
A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a
cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives,
or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get
oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the
blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain
normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.
Urban Legend - careful
While it's good to pass on medical advice, I'd be careful about this one. It's a fairly well known urban legend and is not necessarily the right thing to do. But then again, ask several doctors and you'll probably get multiple recommendations.
For more info, check out
Asked my father about this one.
The stroke indications are correct. He said the tests revolve around checking various neurological systems. The movement tests check for left/right symmetry specifically. So, for example, by asking someone to smile, you'd be looking for one corner of the mouth to raise but not the other. Same with raising the arms. Shrugging the shoulders. And even sticking the tongue out (which should come out midline and not biased to one side).
On the self-help heart attack front, he said while coughing can be used to stimulate the heart, in ~30 years of practicing cardiology, he's never seen or heard of this method being taught or used. He also pointed out that most life-threatening acute ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation happens without warning. He said by the time you went to take your first breath, you'd be out. In the event you have time to think about the onset of your symptoms, his advice was as follows:
-get to a hospital
-call 911 if you can't
-get the attention of any other human being, preferably someone with CPR training
otherwise, general advice included
-and I quote, "That's why you carry a cell phone."
-preventative medicine (no smoking, low cholesterol, proper BP etc.)
One other interesting thing he mentioned is that if you're with someone and aren't able to get immediately to a hospital, one first potential course of action that's not typically taught in CPR training is to initiate a sharp "thump" to the middle of the sternum. He described a scenario just this past week where he was overseeing a young doc in the OR. As the doc inserted a catheter, the patient went into arrythmia. He said everyone bolted for the defibrillator. Before they could return, he popped the guy once in the chest and the guy was back to normal. If that doesn't work, then paddles, CPR etc.
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