February is American Heart Month, so it’s important to discuss heart awareness. Your Sugar Land emergency clinic is here to provide some general information about cardiac emergencies and what to do about them. Many people each year die from heart emergencies. One of the most important things you can do to help prevent this is to know the signs of an emergency and what to do if you think someone is suffering from a heart emergency.
Common Heart Emergencies
While there are many different heart conditions that can turn into emergencies, heart attacks and cardiac arrests are common heart emergencies that can lead to death. While many people use these terms interchangeably, they are actually two different conditions, both of which require medical attention from your Sugar Land emergency clinic.
A heart attack is where blood flow to the heart becomes blocked. This can cause the heart tissue to start to die if left untreated, as the heart is nourished by oxygen-rich blood supplied by the artery. Some signs of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain
- Pain or discomfort in the upper body
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats
- Back pain
- Jaw pain
Heart attack symptoms can come on gradually in the days, hours, or even weeks beforehand. However, some people don’t experience any symptoms at all. Generally, the heart doesn’t stop beating during a heart attack, though it may. A heart attack is a Sugar Land emergency because it is a life-threatening condition that can lead to death without medical treatment.
Cardiac arrest is where the heart suddenly stops beating due to an electrical issue in the heart. When the heart stops pumping, it cannot supply blood to vital organs like the brain and lungs. Some signs of cardiac arrest include:
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Sudden stop in breathing or only gasping
- No pulse within seconds
Cardiac arrest can cause death within minutes and requires medical treatment from your Sugar Land emergency clinic.
What to do Before You Arrive At Your Sugar Land Emergency Clinic
Any time you suspect someone is experiencing a heart emergency, it’s vital you call 911 as soon as possible to get emergency medical services onsite as quickly as possible. Often, the faster someone receives medical attention, the better their chances of surviving a cardiac emergency.
If someone is having a heart attack, the most important thing to do is get them to your Sugar Land emergency room as quickly as possible. If the person isn’t breathing or doesn’t have a pulse, then you should begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR will not restart someone’s heart, but can help their body keep pumping blood until emergency medical personnel arrive. If you don’t have CPR training, doctors recommend only doing chest compressions. The 911 dispatcher can provide instructions to help you.
With sudden cardiac arrest, you also need to call 911 to get them emergency care as soon as possible. Because the heart stops during a cardiac arrest, you should start CPR immediately. If available, you can also use an automated external defibrillator (AED). This device is designed for non-medical personnel to use and provides audio and visual instructions. Many public places now have an AED on-site for cardiac arrests. The AED helps detect heart beats and provide an electrical shock if needed for the person. Taking these steps can help increase the chance of survival for the person experiencing the heart emergency.
St. Michael’s Elite Hospital Sugar Land Emergency Room
At St. Michael’s Elite Hospital, we are a state-of-the-art Sugar Land emergency clinic with short wait times and high quality care. Wait times are generally 15 minutes or less with the same doctors and equipment as other hospitals. Our team is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to provide quality care for your medical emergencies.