- Since Mary is now 50, she can not be classified as a "spring Chicken" any
more. All of us "non spring chickens" now know that the activities of the
day can leave us with all kinds of misc aches and pains, However Alarm bells
go off as soon as she mentions the fatigue, shoulder pain, shortness of
breath and nausea along with her story of exertion ( which could explain the
sweating, but somehow I doubt it ). I would also be enquiring about her
state of balance, has she experienced any headache or dizziness in the last
Although a heart attack is classically associated with severe pain across
the chest, many people feel only a tightness or squeezing sensation in the
chest. The discomfort of a heart attack may be confined to the arm, upper
back, neck, or jaw. Some people only experience a feeling of indigestion,
nausea, shortness of breath, or sweating. The discomfort associated with a
heart attack usually lasts several hours. Other ailments such as Angina can
cause identical symptons but are usually shortlived. I would be politely
asking Mary about any history of cardiac issues, and would want to check her
heart rate. If elevated then there is another clue.
In any case I would be stongly suggest higher level medical intervention as
soon as practical if not an immediate call to EMS
- While reading it definitely starting have the "heart attack" flag go up.
Its been pointed out though it could be many other things.
From experience as a First Aider/Chirurgeon it is particularily awkward when the 1st Aider feels there is a potentially fatal situation developing.
Arranging for transport by paramedics is the way to go. It was particularily frightening having a possible fatality in a POV (personally owned vehicle). Its been a mental shift to be thinking "get them medical care" instead of "to the hospital". Alot can happen on the road which the paramedics can deal with.
It is though very frustrating when the person goes "no no, don't call". Guidance has been to favor calling 911 to have them encourage the patient. Also, as someone else has already reminded us when they pass out "implied consent" comes into affect.
Brian the Green
- On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 10:34 PM, Bethoc (Lesley) <bethoc12thc@...> wrote:In this example, the woman could have one of a number of physical problems related to the organs of the upper body including but not limited to aortic or thoracic anyeursm (weakening of the artery in the main trunks), plumonary disease (breathing disorder), pulmonary edema (water in the lung), exercise induced asthma, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism (clot in the lung), coronary spasm (muscular narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart), congestive heart failure (weakened heart which causes water to back up into the lungs), heart block (where the top and the bottom of the heart don't communicate/function properly), coronary artery disease (umbrella term to include anything that affects the function of the heart because of clotting of blood vessels), severe allergic reaction to an unknown allergen, some kind of cancerous tumor (particularly lung is found late in the game) and to a lesser extent some kind of abdominal pathology.The nice thing about all those possibilities are ALL of them need me to call an ambulance. Well, "nice" might not be the best word, maybe "simple". So my course of action is the same, no matter what I imagine the problem to be.Eyrny