Heart Attack Disease
A Patient may complain of a strange sense of mid sternal uneasiness associated with apprehension and a fast pulse.If he has had a heart attack before and develops such a sensation at some later time he must get himself examined by his doctor.Similarly those with a family history of heart attack and those with high level of cholesterol in the blood must get themselves examined in such a situation.
Pain or numbness in the jaw often occurs as part of radiating chest pain but may occur alone.It usually occurs in the lower jaw on either or both sides.Toothache may indeed be a dental problem but if the aching tooth is a healthy one the pain may be a symptom of heart attack.Rarely a heart attack may present itself as numbness of the left or both the wrists.
A sudden sweating in a middle aged or old man without any obvious reason must be looked in for heart disease.In a case of heart attack when the symptoms are relatively mild or the distribution or pain atypical the diagnosis may be very difficult indeed.The following two case reports are illustrative.
1. R.S 54 year old complained of pain in the upper abdomen which seemed to be due to acute inflammation of the pancreas.But the laboratory tests could not confirm this.On going over the history again it was found that the patient had similar attacks of pain before also for the last over a year, the pain would start on exertion of the left side in the back and would then spread to the abdomen.This was relieved on resting.An E.C.G. established the diagnosis of cardiac infarction.
2. P.R. 43 years old had for the last six months frequent attacks of pain in the front of the chest one and a half hours after taking meals.He was being treated as a case of ulcer of the stomach.However all the laboratory investigation including X ray of the abdomen after swallowing barium were negative.An E.C.G. established the diagnosis of coronary heart disease.