Being a General Practitioner, I never know what is going to walk through the doors. We have to keep all antennas working and look for any possibilty that can happen. Patients walk in with chest pain sometimes typical of a Myocardial Infarction but mostly atypical. Patients completely play it down because they feel silly coming to a doctor for indigestion or a muscle pull they may have had playing golf or it must be the food they have eaten. So many diagnosis but not owning upto it being a heart attack. We as doctors can get it wrong too. All answers may be against a heart attack and diagnosis could be indigestion but always safety net it with the advise – if gets worse please call emergency.
Central chest heaviness, nausea, sickness, sweating, breathing difficulty- yes of course you all know about these as the gold standard symptoms of heart attack. Remind yourselves about it. You may be able to send a person into hospital at the right time. Did she say she got chest pains when walking uphill- thats it- get her in for a check up too.
Whenever I get offered a blood test my biggest worry is the doctor will ring me back and say you have diabetes ,your cholesterol is high because thats what I ring people with a lot of the times. Discussing weight- nobody wants to hear they are over weight including me but hey ho, deal with the reality of what you are really eating and how much you are exercising . Alcohol issues – of course remind me how much you drink and you know whats the legal limit, I know its a hard one but try harder. Smoking another big culprit but before I even open my mouth for cessation advice- I know all about it doctor. And thats true. we all know our vices and as long as we keep trying to do something about it, the heart should keep ticking well. Blood pressure should be kept right and checked regularly. I check mine at home but when get a chance will get it done at my doctors – they want it checking every five years if it has been normal. If it was high they will keep nagging you to come back for a recheck because thats what computer recalls are good at and clinicians follow computers a lot.
Recently we walked past our local communinity centre and there was a defibrillator box mounted on the wall outside. I asked my son its use, he was not a hundred percent about it. Public do need to be aware of its use as it can save lives. Children should be taught about it from a certain age. There is no advantage from shying away from these things, best is to learn it. We get training every year about it.The AED- Automated External Defibs talk to you and tell you when to shock a person and when to continue with CPR- cardio pulmonary resuscitation. You may be able to revive a person that has just collapsed. The link below can tell you all about it.
Enjoy reading and understanding it all . Be prepared to save lives in case you have to.