First aid for angina pectoris

Author Ольга Кияница


Angina may be a minor sign. In some cases, first aid for angina is required, which will prevent such a terrible complication as myocardial infarction.

Stenocardia is a set of symptoms, among which the pain is leading. It is characterized by localization, radiation, duration and provocative factors. Pain is most often determined by the sternum and occurs as a result of a disturbance in the balance between the amount of oxygen entering and its need for cardiac muscle (myocardium). The disease is mainly due to the inability of the coronary (arterial) blood circulation to meet emerging inquiries.

Studies have shown that the intensity of chest pain does not always correlate with the pathoanatomical preconditions, the pathophysiological course of the disease and the most severe cardiac complications.

A person suffering from angina can lead a normal lifestyle, and for this he must be aware of her real health and possible risks. It is also important to regularly undergo prescribed therapy, to attend a doctor and to adhere to the rules of a healthy lifestyle. In extreme cases, if there is severe pain, first aid may be required for angina pectoris.

Video: How to Help Someone with Chest Pains | First Aid Training

Description of angina

Angina pectoris or chest discomfort is a symptom of serious heart problems, usually caused by narrowing or blocking coronary arteries. Manifestations of angina should not be ignored, as this may be a sign of an impending heart attack (myocardial infarction).

An attack of stenocardia is characterized by the appearance of acute pain in the thoracic cavity and, when it occurs, you need to take first care.

The mechanism of the occurrence of pain and angina is not well understood, but it is known that pain occurs when the heart muscle is suffering from ischemia.

Oxygen starvation of myocardium arises for various reasons. Under the influence of risk factors, the need for heart muscle in oxygen increases.

Chest pain is described as a feeling of pressure and embarrassment or as a feeling of suffocation, usually behind the sternum. This sensation arises during and / or after physical effort, emotional stress, after abundant food, during exposure to cold, etc.

Pain can spread:

  • in the left shoulder;
  • along the inner part of the left arm;
  • down the back of the bladder (more often women);
  • in the throat;
  • in the lower jaw;
  • teeth;
  • on the right hand.

Many patients describe pain in angina rather as a feeling of discomfort, rather than a painful sensation. Often there is an alternation of gain and pain reduction, which usually lasts from 10 to 15 minutes.

Types of angina

  • Stable angina pectoris

Angina pectoris can be defined as stable, if the character of the symptoms appearing in the last month has not significantly changed.

Stable angina pectoris has a characteristic feature - an attack occurs when a person resting . The patient also usually indicates the cause of the attack. For example, he could climb a ladder or do physical work. The pain usually takes a few minutes, but it does not last longer than 10 minutes. Also, the doctor's prescription for angina pectoris is quite good at removing this pain.

Stable angina usually does not damage the heart muscle.

  • Unstable angina

An unstable angina is less predictable than a stable form. An attack can occur when one or more coronary arteries become more blocked than before. Pain with unstable angina can occur in situations where this was not the case before, as well as during periods of minimal stress or even rest. For example, an attack can wake the sick person at night.

Unstable angina is characterized by a high risk of serious complications, such as myocardial infarction. This leads to irreversible damage to the heart muscle.

The definition of angina pectoris is very important, and so you should contact your doctor so that the diagnosis is right. If there is additional weakness, sweating or choking, you should immediately call an ambulance.

First aid for angina pectoris

Much depends on the type of disease, but most often during the attack, the following tactics of medicinal effect are used:

  1. Treatment of angina pectoris symptoms.
  2. Prevention of further attacks of angina, which will help reduce the risk of developing myocardial infarction.
  • Treatment of angina pectoris symptoms

If a person experiences symptoms of angina, you must stop any activity and try to rest.

Nitrates are the most common way of treating angina pectoris. Nitrate-containing sprays or tablets that dissolve under the tongue begin to be used first when the first symptoms of angina are felt.

Nitrates work fast, relax blood vessels, expand them, allowing blood to flow more freely.

Antianginal drugs in the form of a spray (aerosol)

The doctor can offer the patient a spray from nitrates or nitrate-like substances. This may be glyceryl trinitrate (trademark Nitrolingual Pumpspray) or isosorbide dinitrate (Isocet spray). With the help of a spray, each time a nozzle is pushed, a measured dose of nitrate under the tongue is fed.

Drops of spray medication are quickly absorbed and give almost immediate effect. It is important to follow the doctor's instructions or recommendations to make sure that you are getting the right dose.

Before taking nitrates should sit or lie down, because these medications can lower blood pressure and cause dizziness or weakness.

If after a two-time use the agent does not pass the stenocardia attack (with a 5-minute interval between spray injections), a third dose should be used and an ambulance called.

Tablets with nitrates or nitrate-like substances

Of the nitrate-containing tablets used to treat angina symptoms, the following are most commonly prescribed:

  • Tablets of glycerol trinitrate (brand names of anginine).
  • Isorbide Dinitrate Tablets (Isordil Sublingual Tablets).

These drugs are absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane of the oral cavity. The instruction specifies the recommended dose, but it is advisable to consult with your doctor further if there are any doubts.

First aid for angina pectoris at home

An angiogenic attack can occur in any situation, and when it comes to unstable angina, pain may start to bother at home when no one is near. In this case, the following recommendations should be followed when using glyceryl trinitrate or isosorbide dinitrate tablets:

  1. You need to put the pill under the tongue or the cheek and let it dissolve.
  2. The tablet should not be swallowed, chewed or crushed
  3. You must avoid eating, drinking or smoking until the tablet completely dissolves.

If the angina continues to disturb after taking two tablets, with a break between their administration in 10 minutes, then you should take a third pill and immediately call an ambulance.

It is desirable for patients with angina to have nitrate-containing tablets or sprays with them at all times. To do this, you must adhere to the rules of their storage.

  1. It is important to check the shelf life of all medicines. You should always have enough medicines with you, especially when traveling, and you need to carry spray or pills with you.
  2. It should be remembered that high temperatures or dampness may adversely affect certain medications. Store spray and pills in a cool, dry place at a temperature below + 25 ° C. Do not leave the medicine in the car in severe heat or cold.
  3. Glyceryl trinitrate tablets begin to lose their effectiveness after 3 months after opening the bottle, so they need to be replaced in time. A good idea for a date reminder is the indication on the label when the medicine was opened.
  4. The tri-nitrate tablets should be stored in a glass bottle in which they were sold. They should not be exposed to heat, light or air. Do not put any other materials, even cotton wool, in a bottle of glycerol with trinitrate (you only need to use special packaging).

Video: First aid - Angina

Side effects of nitrates

The most common side effects of short-acting nitrates:

  • Headache
  • Low blood pressure (sensation of weakness or dizziness).
  • Hyperemia (redness of the face).
  • Tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat that makes it feel that the heart beats or bumps in the chest).

Spraying tablets to relieve symptoms can eliminate these side effects. If you continue to feel unpleasant symptoms, you should consult with your attending physician.

Nitrate tablets and aerosols only for some time reduce blood pressure. At the same time, a person may feel a little weaker after receiving them, especially if they were used for the first time. This is determined when the dose of a preparation is too high or the person is hot (for example, after a shower). Therefore, it is best to sit or lie after taking.

Caution should be exercised if the patient consumed alcohol while taking nitrate medicines, as this may increase the likelihood of weakness and dizziness.

If the patient is taking nitrates, it is not necessary to use certain drugs, for example, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction - sildenafil (trademarks Viagra, Vedafil), tadalafil (trademark Cialis) or vardenafil (trademark Levitra). These drugs can lead to serious, even fatal, side effects.

If there is a concern about the side effects of the medications taken, it is worth asking a doctor.

First aid for angina: action algorithm

With periodic symptoms of angina pectoris, one should adhere to the following action plan:

  1. Stop doing any work, sit down, rest and wait until a painful feeling goes away. If there is a spray or pill, use it in accordance with the physician's instruction or prescription.
  2. If a spray was used and, despite this, an attack of stenocardia persists for 5 minutes after the first dose, a second dose may be given. It is necessary to gently renew your activity as soon as the symptoms have passed.
  3. If pills are taken, you can use up to 2 tablets at intervals of 5 minutes to alleviate the pain in angina pectoris. In doing so, you should always follow the instructions of the attending physician. Usually, one tablet is taken for the first time and allowed to dissolve it under the tongue or cheek.
  4. If 2 doses of a spray or pill did not help to remove an attack of a stenocardia, take the third dose, after which immediately an ambulance is called.
  5. If painful sensations are accompanied by significant shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat or loss of consciousness, an ambulance should be called immediately.

With regular symptoms of angina, certain actions are also performed.
Some people suffer from angiogenic attacks in certain circumstances or circumstances. For example:

  • in cold weather;
  • when walking on the hills or stairs;
  • during physical work or work at home;
  • during the soul;
  • during sexual activity.

In such cases, you need to use a spray or pill just a few minutes before starting an activity that causes angina pectoris. If symptoms of angina occur every day, you need to consult a doctor so that further prophylactic treatment can be planned.

The nature of stenocardial manifestations can change in a significant way. In particular, this may be:

  • frequency of attacks;
  • more severe and severe pain;
  • the appearance of signs of angina at rest or at night;
  • lack of relief on the background of taking the drugs that usually helped.

Similar changes point to the development of unstable angina, which can be a warning sign of an impending heart attack.In such situations, seek medical attention immediately.

Video: Angina Pectoris Medical Emergencies

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