How To Care For Your Heart with Yi Huey
1:37AM Mar 9, 2021
Hi everyone, my name is Shalini. I'm a Care Advisory at Homage Malaysia, and here we have is my colleague, her name is Yi Huey. She's a nurse with more than 20 years of experience, specialised in critical care. She has been practising her nursing in the UK, Singapore and also of course in Malaysia. Hi Yi Huey! Hope you are doing good.
Hi Shalini! I'm doing okay, thank you.
Good to know. So, the reason why we are doing this video today is because we received quite a number of inquiries from families about heart attack, and we are here to provide some general knowledge about heart attack. So Yi Huey, what would you say - what is a heart attack?
Okay. So basically, simple, simple things to say is heart attack is happens when the blood flow that bring oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. So because the heart muscle actually need oxygen to survive. So what happened is when the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can become narrowed from a build up of fat, or you know cholesterol and other substances. So, when the passage become narrow and the bloodflow cannot go completely, that's when the blood supply to the heart is insufficient and that's when cause - that's when they cause a heart attack.
I see. So, mainly is because the blood in the artery is being blocked.
I see. Okay, all right. And in this case, what are the signs and symptoms that occur - a person can look out?
Okay. Of course, the first sign and symptom is, is a very common one that most of the people know, so when you have chest pain or chest discomfort. So the pain can become - can come in any form but it will cause a significant amount of discomfort or sometimes you know it is very tight and you feel that somebody is sitting down on your chest. And often it comes - this pain can radiate to say jaw or neck or even you know your back or your shoulder and your arm. So it can and we see patients come to the hospital presented with epigastric pain, they thought is a heart burn. But it turn out it's actually a chest pain and the patient is actually having a heart attack. But of course, it also can come with other symptoms such as lightheadedness, you might feel nauseating and wanted to vomit. And also you will feel short of breath and cannot breathe properly. So, those are the commons heart attack warning signs. So once you experience any of these chest pain and chest discomfort. Always remember, first thing you should do is go and seek medical help.
I see. So, to be safe to say the main signs is that when your chest is pain. Like it feels like someone pressing you, then you should already start to go to the nearest clinic hospital right?
Yes, yes. Any, any form of discomfort of the chest.
Of the chest. I see. So, I believe there will be a few treatments that people can treat for like heart disease or heart attack. And what are those treatments?
So it depending. It depends on how severe is the blockage of the heart and also how severe is the heart attacks. So, there are two main, three main treatment. So one is of course is, of course you start with a simple medication to increase the blood flow to the heart. That means to dilate the blood vessel but this - this only can be effective when the heart is not - when the artery is not completely blocked. And then the second one is of course, we all heard about it, angioplasty is PCI or common term, balloon. So, typically what happens in this is a doctor actually put a catheter to your groin or to your hand go to your heart and then they will use the balloon to dilate the narrow passage. Or they put a stent or net, you know, into the artery to form a better flow and a wider passsage for the blood to pass through. And, of course, if all these are not a viable option or if your blockage is very bad or you block at multiple place, the doctor will then choose to do a bypass surgery where they actually put in, graph another extra vessel from your body or from your leg typically and form a extra passage to bypass the blocked part so the blood can flow and go to the rest of the heart.
I see. So that is where the bypass term come because you basically create like another pathway for the blood.
Yes, another highway for the blood - for the traffic to go through, yes.
I see, all right. And I believe, in every surgery that we do there would be like limitations in regards to our mobility and performing our ADL's. So in this case, for example like bypass surgery, what are the main limitations that a patient will face?
Yup. So, main thing. If you understand bypass surgery is actually they have to crack open - they have to make an opening on your chest and your sternum, open it up and then do the necessary surgery.
So it's open chest surgery, of course, first thing we'll come back home with a wound. So typically, if the bypass surgery is very straightforward within five days you can actually go home from the hospital. But of course after you go home, you have to observe are all your things like for example, a proper wound care. Trying - try not to infect the wound, because it can be very complicated if your chest wound get infected. And also you cannot do any streinous exercise. So for example, it might be hard for you or not advisable for you to push things very hard. Anything that will disturb your chest wound, or will cause a lot of motion around your, your chest cavity. It's not advisable for a period of time. Yes, so that's where the caregiver and home care can come in useful where- first they can help to, they can help to look after your chest wound. Do the dressing, make sure that it's not infected and also they can help you in performing your daily activities. For example, they can drive you. If you wanted to go out, instead of you driving yourself, those people can drive you around. Or help you to carry heavy things, or even help simple thing like help you to pull and push open the doors. So, and of course your simple rehab exercise. All those are the things that we can help in home care.
I see. So basically, the patient should not perform any activities that involve a lot of strength to avoid the opening of the wound.
Yes, at least for the first one or two weeks. One or two months sorry.
One or two months. I see. So this is where a person beside the patient, all the time, would help in the recovery phase as well, I believe?
So, as we know heart attack or even like heart disease is a very harmful, medical condition that a person can get. So what are the prevention, that, you know, people can do out there to prevent themselves from having a heart attack?
Yes, of course. If let's say you have not have any heart attack before. So what is the best way of preventing. First thing you must understand what is the risk factor right? What causes you having heart attack. So, if you think about it there are a lot of contributing factor or risk factor. For example, your age or your gender. So, if you are male, you tend to get earlier heart attack compared to female. Let's say your family members having heart problem. Any of them actually died from a heart disease or heart attack, it likely this thing will get passed down. Then of course there are other factor such as if you are a heavy smoker, you know you drink a lot, unhealthy lifestyle, you know, do not sleep and then very stressful at work or you don't exercise, you're having high blood pressure, high cholesterol. So all these are the risk factor that can bring you heart attack. And - and of course overweight, you know.
So, all these are the common factor that will lead to heart attack. So by understanding this common factor or risk factor then you can sort of start doing your prevention activity. For example, always remember exercise regularly - not streinously but regularly to just keep your body up-to-date I would say. Also for example, smoke less. Try to be more active, less stressful, sleep early. So all these are the preventive measures. So, a lot of them it can actually - can be prevented through lifestyle change, a healthier lifestyle we call it. But of course if let's say you already had the heart attack, how do you then concentrate on the recover and prevent it from a second attack. It's the same, take the medication. So, if let's say the doctor prescribe you antiplatelets or anything that help to thin the blood, remember to take them. And then, go for regular follow and regular check-up. All these are important things to help you to first identify problems early, and then to continue follow up then the doctor can can do the necessary to adjust your lifestyle. And also, of course, lifestyle change and managing the risk factor. So those are the things that you can prevent from having a second heart attack.
I see, thank you for the info. I hope anyone that watch - that's watching this has better insight on what is heart attack and what's the impact. And again this is just a general info that we are providing out. So let's say if you are having any kind of discomfort or pain in your chest or any part of your body, kindly please go and seek for professional medical advice, at the nearest clinic or hospital. And lastly, thank you everyone for your time. If you have any feedback or questions you can just leave a comment below. Thank you.