Heart diseases are major causes of mortality and disease in the Indian subcontinent, causing more than 25% of deaths. It has been predicted that India will be host to more than half the cases of heart disease in the world within the next 15 years.
In urban India, over the last few years, the prevalence of coronary artery disease in young adults and the incidence of young deaths due to heart attacks (myocardial infarction) have significantly increased. It can be attributed to the stressful lifestyle in the city, and also evolving risk factors like smoking, diabetes and Hypertension in the younger population.
50 % of the heart damage occurs within the first 2 hours of heart attack where there is risk for sudden cardiac death, arrhythmias, and permanent damage to the heart. In an Acute ST elevation myocardial infarction, every 30 min delay from symptom onset to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) increases patients’ risk of dying by 7.5 %.
Hence it becomes extremely important that the symptoms of heart attack are best recognized within the ‘Golden Hour’ – the first hour of definitive medical care where the patient’s medical fate is sealed.
Most people do not plan for a medical emergency, although everyone will have one at one time or another. Also, lack of knowledge and self-denial about cardiac emergencies among the general public delays the initiation of immediate management. It is unfortunate that most people take their symptoms lightly and think that symptoms may be due to ‘acidity’ or an upset stomach.
So next time you or your relative suffers from a sudden onset chest pain or heaviness, breathlessness, sudden profuse sweating or fatigue, visit your treating doctor or the nearest Hospital’s Emergency department immediately.
Global Hospital, Mumbai, is equipped to provide cutting edge care for cardiac emergencies – 24/7. Our team of trained emergency physicians, cardiologists and CTVS surgeons, critical care specialist, rehabilitation specialists, nurses and technicians are committed to providing the best treatment for emergency management, and we value every passing second and minute.
Most patients will be sick enough to know when they are in the golden hour and most of them will miss it when it is gone.