First Aid For Angina Pectoris or Ischemic Chest Pain

Facts About Angina Pectoris

  • Angina pectoris is the Latin term of what people call heart attack
  • The symptom is typically a tingling pain in the middle of the chest
  • Angina pectoris is usually due to narrowing in one or more of the coronary arteries of the heart
  • The narrowing causes insufficient blood oxygenation to the heart muscle, especially in connection with physical exertion

The heart

The heart is a powerful muscle. It acts as a central pump that provides the vital blood supply for all parts of the body. The heart pump is divided into four chambers, two chambers and two chambers. The heart chambers are thin-walled and do not contain much muscular tissue. The chambers of the heart constitute the actual pump, which causes the blood to pass into the lungs and partly to the rest of the body.

Illegally, “spent” blood is returned from all parts of the body and gathered in the right front chamber. Then the blood moves into the right ventricle, from which it is pumped into the lung circuit through the large pulmonary artery. In the lungs, the pulmonary artery branches into smaller and smaller pulse veins, ending in an unbelievably large amount of the very small air tubes (capillaries). The capillaries swallow the microscopic air blisters (alveoli) in the lungs. In this way, the red blood cells come in very close contact with the oxygenated breathing air in the alveolar. The ointment is thus absorbed into the small blood vessels, which then (still in the lungs) are again gathered into larger blood vessels. These blood vessels end in the left ventricle, from where the blood is passed to the left ventricle. From here, the oxygen is pumped through the main artery (aorta) into the large body (whole body).

The heart muscle contraction is controlled and coordinated by electrical signals that pass through an electrical wiring system located within the heart muscle.

Since the heart is a big muscle that works continuously, it needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrition. This supply is via the bloodstream. From the first part of the pulmonary artery, two coronary arteries (right and left coronary arteries) pass away on the outside of the heart muscle. The coronary arteries then split up into still smaller branches that penetrate the heart muscle and provide blood supply to all parts of the heart.

When we strive, the heart must pump more and faster to bring enough blood around to the muscles and other organs of the body. In order to cope, the heart needs more nutrition and oxygen. Therefore, blood supply to the heart may also increase. A fast heart can increase blood flow to the coronary arteries to the ninety-two of what it is at rest.

What is angina pectoris?

The cavity (diameter) of the coronary arteries may become smaller due to deposits on the inside of the blood vessels (atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis) over the years. This means that smaller amounts of blood can flow through the arteries over a given period of time. In rest, or when we do not strive, this is no problem. But if we make a lot of effort, blood flow may be relatively small to some oxygen and nutrition. Deficiency in parts of the heart muscle causes chest pain.

Angina pectoris (called by many for heat cramps) is the occurrence of chest pain of up to about 15 minutes duration. The seizures are due to decreased blood supply to the heart muscle. The attacks are typically triggered by exertions, slowing down and disappearing after a few minutes of rest.

Nitroglycerin is a type of medicine that can cause pain relief almost immediately (after seconds to few minutes) when narrowed into the coronary artery. This belief is due to the fact that nitroglycerin extends the diameter of the coronary artery so that more blood can flow through.

The pain is often described as clammy and conspicuous. They are typically labeled behind the breastbone and can radiate into the left shoulder and arm, sometimes up the jaw. The seizures come easier when it is cold, in someone after a big meal or in connection with mental health.

Typical symptoms and signs

  • Pain in the middle of the chest behind the sternum. The pain can radiate against the jaw and / or left shoulder and arm
  • The pain is relieved by rest and nitroglycerin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety

First aid

  • Rest
    • Get the patient to calm down
  • Medicine
    • If necessary, help the patient find his heart medicine
    • If necessary, help the patient take medicine, eg nitroglycerin
  • Seek medical attention if necessary
    • Ask the patient to seek a doctor if the person is still anxious after the angina attack is over
  • If the pain does not go by itself
    • Should you suspect an acute heart attack and follow the guidelines for this
    • If the patient loses consciousness, ensure free airways and check the breathing. If the patient breathes himself, put the patient in sideways. Be ready to start resuscitation and call in any case professional help
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