Angina Pectoris: The First Aid Assistance You Can Provide Is Limited
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This is a condition where the coronary arteries are partially blocked and under physical or emotional stress the heart can’t get enough blood and oxygen. As a result, the person experiences chest pain.
Preventing Angina Pectoris
There are many conditions that can lead to angina including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, anemia, and certain heart disorders. As such, prevention of angina involves dealing with the underlying cause. For example, high blood pressure can be controlled with diet, exercise, and weight control, and medication. And coronary artery disease can be prevented with a diet low in fat, cholesterol, and salt; regular exercise; and not smoking.
Signs and Symptoms of Angina Pectoris
Chest pain that is often described as being tight, heavy, or a pressure and may spread to the neck, jaw, and arms. The pain usually last less than 10 minutes, is relieved by rest, and is sometimes accompanied by breathing difficulty, sweating, nausea, or dizziness.
First Aid for Angina Pectoris
People who suffer from angina usually have prescribed medication such as nitroglycerin. Within seconds of taking it, this medication will cause the blood vessels to dilate which will allow more blood to get through to the myocardium. Nitroglycerin comes in various forms such as pills (which they put under their tongue), paste (which they put on their skin), a spray (which goes in their mouth), or a patch (that goes on their skin).
As first aiders we are not allowed to administer medication. However, we can assist the casualty to take it themselves. If the medication does not make the person feel better within a few minutes then you must contact the EMS. This medication will not help if the blockage is complete or if there is a ruptured artery. Do not touch the medication with your bare skin because it will get absorbed and cause the dilation of your blood vessels which will in turn cause low blood pressure which can lead to fainting.
Read more about heart diseases.