Stopping a Heart Attack in its Tracks

Heart disease is the UAE’s leading cause of death, with heart attacks striking around 15 years earlier than the global average, according to the World Health Organization. However, in many cases these fatalities can be prevented.

By recognizing the symptoms of heart attacks early, people can be treated before their heart experiences further damage, saving patients’ lives. Individuals should not ignore any signs or changes to their body and should seek immediate help if they experience one or more symptoms of a heart attack. Here’s what to watch out for.

  • Typical symptoms of heart attacks vary from person to person and by gender.
  • The most common symptoms include chest pain or pressure that lasts longer than a few minutes, discomfort in the arms, shoulders, neck or jaw due to limited blood flow, as well as fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea.
  • It is possible for patients, and particularly women and diabetics, to have a heart attack and not feel the typical chest pain.
  • Sometimes the symptoms can be as subtle as shortness of breath, dizziness, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.
  • If you suffer any of the symptoms associated with a heart attack to call an ambulance and rest until assisted.
  • Remember: Patients should remain seated until they receive help, as any movement can increase strain on the heart.

    (Written by: Dr. Jacques W. Kobersy, Institute Chair of Emergency Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Emergency Medicine Institute)