A heart attack is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot. Lack of blood to the heart can seriously damage the heart muscle.
Symptoms can include:
Chest pain: the chest can feel like it is being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object, and pain can radiate from the chest to jaw, neck, arms and back
Shortness of breath
Feeling weak and/or lightheaded
Overwhelming feeling of anxiety
A heart attack is a medical emergency. Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance if you suspect that you or someone you know is having a heart attack. If the casualty is not allergic to aspirin and it’s easily available, give them a tablet to slowly chew and then swallow while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The aspirin will help to thin the blood and restore blood supply to the heart.
Treatment for a heart attack will depend on how serious it is. Two main treatments are:
Using medication to dissolve blood clots
Surgery to help restore blood to the heart
An electrocardiograph (ECG) is only carried out within 10 minutes of being admitted to hospital. An ECG measures the electrical activity of your heart. Every time you heart beats, it produces tiny electrical signals. An ECG is painless and takes about five minutes to perform.
There are two reasons why an ECG is so important:
It helps confirm the diagnosis of a heart attack
It helps determine what type of heart attack you have had, which will help determine the most effective treatment for you
The respiratory system
Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways. These are the small tubes, called bronchi, which carry air in and out of the lungs.
Wheezing and coughing
A tight chest
There is no cure for asthma. Treatment is based on two important goals:
Preventing future symptoms and attacks from developing
Spirometry is carried out to assess how well your lungs work. You will be asked to breathe into a machine called a spirometer. The spirometer takes two measurements: the volume of air you can breathe out in one second and the total amount of air you breathe out. You are given a medicine to open your airways to see if this is improving your breathing.
The digestive system
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. The symptoms of IBS usually appear for the first time when a person is between 20 an d30 years of age. They tend…