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Heart attack: What can you do in an emergency?

A heart attack can happen to anyone and can occur at any time. But what should I do in the event of a heart attack? How can I help others? In this article we provide the answers to these and other questions.

How can I help others with a heart attack?

Whether you are at a family party or alone on the street. Theoretically, a situation could arise at any time in which you are confronted with a heart attack. Because every year, about 30,000 people in Switzerland are affected by heart disease.
In order to be best prepared for such a situation, you should know what to do in case of an emergency. We have compiled a small guide that you should follow in the event of a heart attack.

  1. First pay attention to the symptoms and observe them to see if they persist or subside again.
  2. Stay calm and dial the emergency number (144). Report the situation and follow the instructions on the phone.
  3. Free the affected person from tight clothing on the upper body. This includes, for example, a tie, shirt or even a bra. Because a heart attack in a woman is not unlikely.
  4. Assign a person to wait outside for the first aiders to arrive.
  5. As soon as the affected person stops breathing and there are no signs of life, you should start resuscitation. Instructions for resuscitation can also be obtained from the emergency call.

If you follow these instructions, you can make a big contribution to first aid in the event of a heart attack. The most important thing is that you remain calm and also try to reassure the affected person. However, to be really sure whether it is a heart attack, you should know and observe the symptoms.
Note: Our Taris app is designed to help ensure first aid. You can find out more about it right here.

Symptoms

In order to recognise a heart attack in the first place, it is very important to observe the symptoms. The signs of a heart attack are very clear and unambiguous.
Heart attack symptoms include:

  • Severe pain in the chest area with an uplifting pressure.
  • The duration of the chest pain lasts longer than 15 min.
  • The chest pain spreads to other regions of the body, such as the shoulders and neck. But pain in the upper arm or a tingling sensation in the hand can also occur with a heart attack.
  • The pain does not get better and continues.

If these symptoms occur, you can be fairly certain that it is a heart attack. In addition, those affected usually experience a feeling of mortal fear and begin to sweat profusely. This is usually accompanied by shortness of breath, which increases the fear of death.
If this is the case, it is important to calm the person down. Calm breathing or a reassuring conversation can help. When the symptoms appear, you should immediately dial the emergency number. The faster the first responders arrive, the higher the chance of survival for the affected person.

What can I do if I have a heart attack?

Many people are prepared to act if another person is affected by a heart attack. But how does one actually behave when one’s own person suffers a heart attack? This question is very difficult to answer, as one actually has to deal with pain and fear of death.
First and foremost, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Either try to dial the emergency number yourself or ask someone else to do so. In addition, you should not underestimate the symptoms. The sooner you make the emergency call yourself or ask someone to help you, the sooner first aid will arrive.
Then you should make sure that you stay calm and try to breathe calmly. The more you panic, the stronger the symptoms can become. You should also be aware that help is already on the way. This can also help to calm yourself down.
If the first aiders arrive, one should try to follow the instructions to help the medical staff with the treatment. You will then be taken to the nearest hospital for further treatment.

What is the chance of survival?

If you arrive at a hospital as quickly as possible, the chances of survival after a heart attack also increase. Medicine is now so well developed that it is possible to react very well to a heart attack. Of course, good first aid is also a prerequisite.

Heart attack Doccheck

If you suffer a heart attack and survive, you should definitely have yourself examined further by a doctor. The cause of the heart attack can usually be determined. After that, it is clear that further treatment is unavoidable. As a rule, one has to adjust one’s diet or take more exercise. But treatment with medication cannot be ruled out either. The attending physician then orders further treatment after the heart attack.

Heart attack treatment

There are different ways to treat a heart attack. Immediately after a heart attack, the patient is usually given a catheter in hospital. This involves fitting the patient with a stent. The stent dilates the affected heart vessel so that blood can flow through it again. This is because a blocked coronary vessel usually causes a heart attack.
After the treatment in hospital, the treatment continues. There are different treatment options. For example, you can take a course of treatment to strengthen your heart again. This can at least prevent another heart attack. You can discuss other treatment options with your doctor.
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Anatomy of the heart: how does our heart really work?

A heart keeps the human body alive and functioning without interruption. But how exactly is the heart built and how does it work? In this article we will take a closer look at the anatomy of a person’s heart.

How does the heart work?

The heart is one of the most important organs in our body and keeps us alive. It never stops and cannot afford to take a break. Even during sleep, the heart continues to beat diligently.
And the anatomy of the heart is actually simpler than it seems at first glance. That’s because our heart works like a pump, or rather, like a bicycle pump. Instead of air, the heart pumps blood throughout our body.
This is also called the cardiovascular system. Now, the cardiovascular system can be divided into two different circuits. First, there is the systemic circulation, which is the larger circulation. And the smaller circulation is the pulmonary circulation.
The most important components of the cardiovascular system are the arteries and veins. Veins are usually represented with the colour blue and arteries with the colour red. Veins flow towards the heart and contain deoxygenated blood. Arteries, on the other hand, run away from the heart and contain oxygenated blood. There is one exception: the pulmonary vein is supplied with oxygen-rich blood and the pulmonary artery with oxygen-poor blood.

Pulmonary circulation

  1. In a person’s pulmonary circulation, the heart pumps deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery then divides into many different small arteries. As it does so, the small arteries branch into even smaller arterioles and then eventually into capillaries. Capillaries are very small vessels in the human body.
  2. Once the deoxygenated blood has reached the capillaries of the lungs, gas exchange takes place there. This is because deoxygenated blood is also rich in carbon dioxide. Thus carbon dioxide is released through the lungs and incidentally oxygen is taken up through respiration.
  3. Since the blood has now been supplied with oxygen, it now takes the route through the veins. In the process, the oxygen-rich blood flows through the small venules until it reaches the larger veins and finally the pulmonary vein. The pulmonary veins are connected to the left atrium of the heart and supply it with oxygen-rich blood.
  4. The blood then enters the wider systemic circulation.

Circulation of the body

  1. From the left side of the heart, blood flows through the aortic valve into the aorta. The aorta is also called the main artery.
  2. Arriving at the aorta, the blood passes into the arteries. These in turn branch off into smaller arterioles to the capillaries in the head and body. Here again an exchange of oxygen takes place, this time with the cells of the body tissues.
  3. In the process, the cells are supplied with oxygen and important nutrients. Meanwhile, the blood absorbs carbon dioxide and waste products from the cells.
  4. Thus, the now oxygen-depleted blood is once again delivered to the body through the venules and veins. There, the deoxygenated blood finally enters the right ventricle and the cardiac cycle starts again from the small pulmonary circulation.

Did you know that? There are also interesting facts about the anatomy of the heart. For example, if you add up the length of all the blood vessels, you get a total length of about 90,000-100,000 km. That’s almost twice the circumference of our earth.

How does the heart beat?

While the heart is busy pumping like a bicycle pump, the heart continues to contract. When it contracts, it transports blood through the blood vessels in the body. When the heart relaxes, it fills with blood. The heart is a muscle. This makes the heart one of the strongest muscles in our body.
When the heart contracts, we perceive it as a heartbeat. If you touch your chest, you feel a strong heartbeat. As a rule, the heart beats between 50 and 80 times per minute. In special situations, the heart can even beat up to 200 times per minute.
Basically, a heartbeat is divided into systole and diastole. Systole is the tension phase of the heart. Diastole is the heart’s relaxation phase. In general, the heart handles this by means of electrical impulses that are formed in the sinus node. The sinus node is the heart’s natural pacemaker.

Anatomy of the heart: how is the heart built?

A human heart is usually the size of a fist and is located approximately in the centre of our chest. And not so many assume on the left side of the chest. This is because about 2/3 of the heart is located on the left side of the chest. The remaining 1/3 is on the right side. Sometimes a human heart can be bigger than a fist. This is often the case with athletes. This is because athletes or sportsmen and women need a high level of endurance in the sporting activities they do.

Structure of a human heart

The heart is also called a hollow body because it is a muscle that is hollow. The heart is divided by a septum into two halves, the left and right halves of the heart. Both halves consist of a small atrium and a ventricle.

The hollow body consists of the following components:

  • Heart valves
  • Ventricles
  • Coronary arteries
  • Ventricular septum
  • Hollow vein
  • Aorta
  • Pulmonary veins
  • Pulmonary artery
  • Atrium

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Healthy heart: What is healthy for the heart?

With age, the risk of heart disease also increases. But it is not only age that plays a decisive role here. Nutrition and general lifestyle are also important for a healthy human heart. But what exactly is good for our heart and how does it become a healthy heart? In this article we answer these and other questions.

What is healthy for the heart?

You can do good things for your healthy heart with very simple means. And not just since today, but from an early age. Our heart already benefits from a little sport when we are children. If we grow up with sport and keep moving regularly, it also keeps our heart fit. That’s why it stands to reason that the heart of a competitive athlete is usually bigger than an average heart. The heart is a muscle and can be trained. Normally, the human heart is the size of a clenched fist. In competitive athletes, however, the heart is usually somewhat larger.
But you don’t have to be a competitive athlete to do something good for your heart. The two most important factors are exercise and a healthy nutrition. The earlier you start, the better it is for your body and especially for your heart. The later you start, the harder it is for the heart to regenerate. Nevertheless, the motto is: It is never too late! The heart can recover quickly and also rebuild itself. Nevertheless, you have to approach the matter with a lot of patience. Because everything does not get better overnight
Age also plays a very important role in the heart. When you are still very young and fit, a poor nutrition and little exercise are hardly noticeable. Only with age do you feel the consequences of a less good lifestyle. The older a person gets, the more attention he or she has to pay to his or her body and also to his or her heart. To avoid heart problems in old age, you have to strengthen your heart. Now you can find out the best way to do this.

What strengthens the heart?

As mentioned, the two most important factors for the heart are a healthy nutrition and some exercise. The sooner you start, the more the heart will benefit. But take a calm and relaxed approach to the whole thing. It takes a lot of patience to strengthen your heart. But now to the actual question: What is good for a healthy heart and how can I strengthen my heart?

Movement

The most common cause of death in Switzerland is coronary heart disease. And it has been proven that regular exercise of the body reduces the risk of the disease. But how much exercise is necessary and when is it too much? There is no general answer to this question. It always depends on the circumstances and these vary from person to person. The decisive factors are age, how fit you feel and any pre-existing conditions. Even the smallest things make a difference.
Nowadays we live in a very technologically advanced time and everything is made easier for us. We no longer have to use stairs and are transported by escalators. And the list goes on forever. But if you already do without the escalators and walk the stairs yourself, then you have already done a lot for your body. Besides, it is always good for the body to take a walk. It is also enough to enrol in small sports courses and attend them regularly. These do not always have to be intensive, but can also be more relaxed, such as yoga or similar.

Healthy nutrition

Besides sport and exercise, the right nutrition is also very important for the heart. A healthy and above all balanced nutrition can strengthen the heart. Fast food, snacks and overeating can not only harm the body, but also a heart. A poor nutrition often leads to high blood sugar or blood fat levels.
Many people may still know it from their school days, namely the food pyramid. This basically depicts everything important that you need to know. But if you would like more information or even nutritional advice, that is no problem. Your health insurance company usually offers special courses or personal nutrition counselling. Often, they will also draw up a special diet plan that is tailored to you.

What is bad for the heart?

Now you have learned what options you have to strengthen your heart. But it is also important to know which factors can damage the heart quickly and in the long term. These include the following things:

  • Stress
  • Overweight
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Age
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Hereditary diseases

Many factors play a role when it comes to damaging the human heart. But there are many things you can change yourself. In the best case, you have never smoked and will not start. But if you have been or are a regular smoker, now is the time to quit. It is clear that you cannot simply stop from one day to the next. Even small successes are beneficial for the heart.

What diseases are there for the heart?

Now the question arises as to which diseases can be the consequence. Because many diseases are not known at first. Thus, many people take heart disease lightly and do not feel affected by it. But reality catches up with you sooner than you might think.
The most common heart diseases include the following:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Heart attacks
  • and much more.

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Heart attack: This is what happens in the body during a heart attack!

One of the most common causes of death is a heart attack. But what exactly is a heart attack and how does it happen? In this article we answer these questions and more.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is a disease of the heart that often occurs in old age. This is because the heart muscle tissue decreases over the years and a heart attack becomes more likely. A heart attack or myocardial infarction should not be underestimated and is an absolute emergency situation. That is why you must act quickly if you have clear symptoms and, if necessary, provide first aid.

What happens during a heart attack?

Basically, a heart attack occurs when the heart wall is no longer supplied with blood properly. The heart wall is then no longer supplied with blood properly as soon as the coronary vessels begin to close. Depending on the severity of the heart attack, the coronary vessels are only partially or completely closed. But why do the coronary vessels close? With age, calcium deposits and blood fats accumulate on the walls of the coronary vessels. As a result, the coronary vessels can no longer supply the heart properly with oxygen and blood. The result is ultimately a heart attack.

How is this different from heart failure?

The term heart failure is also often mentioned in connection with heart disease. But many people do not really know what heart failure is. In principle, it is a heart failure, just like a heart attack. In heart failure, however, the heart is no longer able to pump blood through the body. The difference to a heart attack is mainly in the symptoms. Typical symptoms are shortness of breath or fatigue. With a heart attack, on the other hand, the symptoms are much more noticeable and severe.

Symptoms of a heart attack?

The most important thing is to recognise a heart attack and its signs as early as possible. Sometimes it only becomes noticeable gradually and you don’t know that it is a heart attack. And sometimes the symptoms are so clear that you can safely assume it is a heart attack. As a rule, the sequence of events is as follows:

  • The chest begins to hurt and enormous pressure builds up. The pain usually lasts longer than 15 minutes.
  • The chest pain spreads and affects other parts of the body, such as the shoulders, arms, neck and jaw. A heart attack is also noticeable through pain in the upper arm or tingling in the hand.
  • The pain continues and does not go away.

If this is the case, you should dial the emergency number as soon as possible and request help. As a rule, an emergency doctor will then set off as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you can give first aid if necessary. Stay calm and wait for the instructions of the emergency caller.
Other symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fear of death
  • Pale face
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • General feeling of weakness

Causes of a heart attack?

Now the only question is how a heart attack occurs. The most common cause is age-related, as the heart becomes weaker and more vulnerable with age. Poor diet and little exercise can lead to pre-existing conditions such as arteriosclerosis. This is all the deposits on the arteries, which in turn narrow them. As a result, less blood flows through the body and you yourself are more susceptible to heart attacks. Smoking or an unhealthy lifestyle can also have a negative effect on the heart. That is why you should regularly have yourself examined by a doctor for possible diseases.

Prevent heart attack

You should make sure that you avoid as much stress as possible in everyday life. The job can often demand a lot from us, but you are not doing the body much good.

  • Make sure you eat a balanced and healthy diet so that you can strengthen your body and your heart.
  • Keep moving and do enough sports, so you can additionally strengthen the body.
  • But all pre-existing conditions can also damage the rest of the body and especially the heart over time. If you are affected by pre-existing conditions, you should discuss them with your doctor.

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First aid for a tick bite: What can be done?

In summer, people like to go for a walk in a field. When they do, they often have to contend with tall grasses and lurking ticks. It happens sooner than you think and a tick sticks to you. But what now? In this article you will learn everything you need to know about first aid for a tick bite.

What does a tick bite look like?

At first, we humans do not notice or feel a tick bite. This is due to the anaesthetic that the tick emits when it bites. Usually, it is already too late and the tick has attached itself to the skin for hours. The size of the tick can vary depending on how old it is and how long it remains on the skin. Therefore, the discovery of the bloodsucker can often be detected very late.
A tick bite becomes visible as soon as the skin is swollen, the tick is large enough or reddening of the skin occurs. If the tick is removed, the puncture hole is still visible. The bite can take a more serious course as soon as the redness spreads.

What diseases can be transmitted by a tick bite?

In most cases, a tick bite can spread two diseases – Lyme disease and TBE.
Lyme disease
Lyme disease is a disease caused by the so-called bacterial species of Borrelia. Up to this point, there is no vaccine for this disease. The first symptoms of Lyme disease can be the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain

A quick removal of the tick is therefore absolutely necessary. This can reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease. In the case of a disease, it is visible as a circular reddening of the skin at the site of the bite. If this reddening occurs, immediate medical treatment is urgently required!
TBE
TBE is an abbreviation for “early summer meningoencephalitis”. It is a viral disease that occurs in endemic areas. However, not all ticks carry the virus. About 5 per cent of ticks in endemic areas carry this viral disease. TBE can affect the nervous system. The developments can ultimately lead to meningitis or encephalitis. If symptoms of this kind occur, it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor.

First aid for tick bite: How to remove?

The highest priority in the event of a tick bite is to remain calm. After all, a jerky removal of the tick can have consequences later on. We help you with first aid for your tick bite.

What is the best way to remove ticks?

To remove a tick, the best tool is a pair of tick tweezers. They enable us to grasp the tick close to the skin and remove it afterwards. In addition, the tweezers make it possible to remove the tick without squeezing it.

Remove ticks quickly

In order to remove the tick without damage, the following tools should be provided:

  • Tick tweezers / tick lasso / tick card
  • Wound disinfectant
  1. Place tick tweezers as close to the skin as possible.
  2. Pull the tick out of the skin by pulling slowly.
  3. Once the tick has been removed, the wound can be disinfected with a disinfectant.
  4. Hands should then be washed so that no residue of the disinfectant remains.

Should ticks be turned or pulled?

The correct technique for removing a tick is to pull it out. However, the tick can be loosened by gently twisting it back and forth. However, care should be taken when doing this. Jerky twisting can cause the tick to split. Therefore, twisting is only recommended if the tick is difficult to loosen.

Where is the best place to dispose of the tick?

Once a tick has been removed, it should be killed. Common methods for doing this are crushing or squashing. In addition, one should make sure that no body fluids of the tick are on the skin. Body fluids of a tick can contain pathogens and these can be transmitted through open wounds on the human skin. Also, do not remove the tick in the toilet. There is a possibility that the tick will survive in the water.

Can you remove the tick with your finger?

A tick can also be removed with the fingers. However, this requires long fingernails. In addition, there is a possibility that the tick will be crushed. This should be avoided as a matter of urgency, as there is a greater chance of pathogens being transferred to the human body.
The following steps are necessary to remove the tick with the fingernails:

  1. It was ensured that the fingernails were long enough.
  2. Grasp the tick close to the skin with the fingernails, but never close the fingertips together.
  3. Move fingernails to the left and right so that the tick can be pulled out.
  4. Use a disinfectant on the wound.

What to do if the tick head gets stuck?

From time to time, residues of the tick may remain on the skin when the tick is removed. The biting apparatus of the tick is also usually mistaken for the tick’s pigtail. However, it is important to remain calm, as the biting apparatus does not represent an increased health risk for humans.
Basically, one thing is most important – the tick must be removed. Residues of the tick are repelled by the skin after some time and ultimately pose no danger to humans.
However, if the wound becomes infected, a doctor should be consulted as a matter of urgency.

What to do if the tick bite itches?

If the tick bite starts to itch, the first priority is not to scratch the wound. In addition, if you feel itchy after a tick bite, you should consult a doctor. It is not typical for the wound to start itching after a tick bite. This can be more of an indication of a disease or a bacterial infection.
To relieve itching after a tick bite, it is recommended to cool the wound. This also helps to combat swelling on the skin.

How long do you see a tick bite?

As a rule, the healing process of the tick bite wound should take about seven days. Any skin change after seven days should definitely be assessed by a doctor. If a reddening of the skin forms with a diameter of about 4 centimetres, then this is a wandering redness and indicates a Borrelia infection. This requires antibiotic treatment, which is ordered by a doctor.

When should I go to the doctor with a tick bite?

In principle, a visit to the doctor after a tick bite is not objectionable, even if the tick bite should not be a cause for concern. Especially after you have given first aid for a tick bite, you should have it examined by a doctor. Ultimately, however, you should always keep an eye on the tick bite and act as quickly as possible if there are any changes in the skin.
Especially if flu-like symptoms become apparent, this can indicate an illness with TBE. In this case, medical treatment is essential.
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