Do not take chest pain lightly, advise cardiologists

Tabba Heart Institute holds seminar on World Heart Day in collaboration with PharmEvo and Express Media Group


Dr Irfan Elahi Chandna of the Tabba Heart Institute highlighted the symptoms of a heart attack and stressed the need for quick medical intervention. PHOTO: JALAL QURESHI/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Health experts have advised that people should not ignore the slight chest pain as in case of a heart attack they do not have much time. Cardiologists stressed that patients must be shifted to the hospital within two hours and added that the faster this is done, the greater the chances are of recovery.

These views were expressed on Friday at a seminar at Tabba Heart Institute to observe World Heart Day, organised in collaboration with PharmEvo and Express Media Group.

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Tabba hospital's Dr Irfan Elahi Chandna stressed upon the seriousness of heart diseases and said that people should not take chest pain lightly. He said that pain due to a heart attack or angina extends to a large part of the chest and stays for several minutes. However, people need not worry if the chest pain lasts for a few seconds. "However, pain that seems to move towards the shoulder, neck or back of the chest must be taken seriously and the patient must be immediately shifted to the hospital because the condition may be suggestive of angina or heart attack," he said. "The patient must be brought straight to the hospital's emergency room for doctors to conduct ECG, Echo and blood tests. Even if the ECG appears to be normal, examination of the blood and Echo test is a must as there is still a 20 % risk of a heart attack. The patient must not be sent back home just because the ECG appears to be okay," he added.

Dr Elahi further suggested that doctors should conduct a troponin test to rule out the possibility of a heart attack. "If troponin test is administered within the specified time, it could be ascertained if the patient suffered a heart attack," he said. He added, "Doctors undergoing apprenticeship must administer all basic tests to the patient."

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Various other specialists, including Dr Irfan Elahi Chandna, Dr Adeelur Rehman Siddiqui, Dr Batool Javed and Dr Hasan Khan, stressed the importance of being aware of the causes of heart diseases and said that people should give particular attention to preventive measures and adopt changes in their lifestyle. They said that people should take a balanced diet and also make exercise and walking a part of daily routine. The specialists also said that patients suffering from diabetes should be particularly careful about their blood sugar levesl as they might not get any hint of a heart attack. Patients with high blood pressure should also adapt to a healthy lifestyle and restrict the use of salt, they added.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2018.

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