AHA Issues Important Reminder to Heart Attack and Stroke Victims October 27, 2020
Lots of people are nervous about going to the hospital during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially for complaints or concerns that are not directly related to the virus. Nerves aside, sometimes a trip to the hospital is just plain necessary. The American Heart Association (AHA) is reminding Americans how important it is to go to your nearest hospital or emergency department if you think you may be having a stroke or heart attack since without medical intervention, both can be deadly.
Heart attacks result from a blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle. Without blood, the heart tissue begins to lose oxygen and die. Similar to a heart attack, a stroke causes brain damage due to an interruption in blood flow and supply. Both heart attacks and strokes are leading killers in the U.S. Each year, approximately 805,000 people have a heart attack and nearly 800,000 others have a stroke. At least 350,000 strokes and heart attacks happen outside of the hospital, endangering patients’ chances for positive health outcomes and lowering their long-term or permanent disability rates.
Why it’s Important to go to the Hospital
According to the AHA, there are a few main reasons that that heart attack and stroke victims should not hesitate to seek emergency medical care or assistance:
- Immediate medical intervention is your best chances of survival. Heart attacks and strokes can be deadly, but in many cases they are treatable so long as they are caught early. Although lots of people are scared to go to the hospital during the pandemic, it is safe to call 9-1-1 go to a hospital for a medical emergency
- Hospitals should be following infection control protocols, maintaining social distancing, and properly sanitizing. Some hospitals even have separate wings or floors for COVID patients or patients who are likely to have the virus. Workers should also be wearing adequate protective gear
- Hospital workers are trained to deal with cardiac and stroke emergencies. For these patients, a few minutes can make the difference between life and death
Heart Attack and Stroke Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms associated with having a heart attack include chest discomfort, discomfort in other parts of the body like your back, arms, neck, jaw, or stomach, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, and breaking out in a cold sweat. Women who are having a heart attack are more likely than men to experience back or jaw pain, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. When it comes to stroke symptoms, a helpful acronym to remember is FAST. FAST stands for face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech (or other difficulties) and lastly, time to call 9-1-1. If you or a loved one is experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms, call for help right away.
Although healthcare professionals are trained to treat medical emergencies and hospitals are supposed to be equipped with up-to-date and safe equipment, preventable mistakes still happen every day. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider is negligent in performing or omitting something generally considered standard medical practice. Some of the most frequent medical errors are missed or delayed diagnosis, medication mistakes, preventable delays in treatment, failure to act on testing and diagnostic results, and inadequate follow-ups. For heart attack and stroke victims, a provider’s failure to properly diagnose the condition and intervene might be the result of negligence and not an unavoidable mistake.
If you sustained injuries as a result of a provider or facility’s negligence, you may want to consider filing a medical malpractice claim. Injured victims can seek legal action against hospitals, doctors, nurses, aides, and other healthcare workers and facilities. To learn more, contact a firm representative online now.
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