Heart attack symptoms can be gradual or abrupt and both situations are a medical emergency.
Heart attack symptoms can be gradual or abrupt and both situations are a medical emergency. That’s the main message of research published today in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
The study found that patients with gradual symptom onset took eight hours to get medical help compared to 2.6 hours for those with abrupt symptoms. A maximum delay of two hours is recommended to get fast treatment and the best outcomes; serious complications and death are more likely beyond this window.
Gradual symptoms begin with mild discomfort that slowly gets worse, while abrupt onset refers to sudden and severe pain from the start. “Both are a medical emergency and require urgent help,” said study author Dr Sahereh Mirzaei of the University of Illinois at Chicago, US. “But our study shows that gradual symptoms are not taken seriously.”
This was a secondary analysis of a prospective, multicentre study conducted in four US regions. The analysis included 474 patients presenting to the emergency department with acute coronary syndrome (myocardial infarction and unstable angina). Symptom characteristics and time from symptom onset to arrival in the emergency department were assessed using the ACS Patient Information Questionnaire.
Read more at European Society of Cardiology
Photo credit: ArtisticOperations via Pixabay