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WHSQ issues warning of early heart attack signs

Thursday, 4 October, 2012 - 10:00
Incidents & prosecutions

The death of a 52 year old man working on a Queensland construction site has prompted a warning from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on recognising the early warning signs of a heart attack and establishing procedures for dealing with medical emergencies.

None of the workers at the site recognised the man’s symptoms, including feeling pain radiating down his left arm and a general unwell feeling, as heart attack symptoms.

In Australia, on average, a heart attack will occur every 11 minutes. One person will die from a heart attack every 51 minutes. Research shows that more than 50 per cent of all patients who die from a heart attack never make it to a hospital.

The signs of a heart attack can vary from person to person. However, common symptoms reported from those suffering a heart attack can include: pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness in one or more parts of the chest, neck, jaw, arm, shoulders or back; nausea; shortness of breath; dizziness; and/or cold sweat.

In addition to those symptoms above, symptoms typically related to a stroke can include loss of strength, balance, feeling or speech down one side of the body.

There is only a small amount of time to act before permanent damage to the heart muscle (heart attack), which can happen within three to four minutes of being starved of oxygen.

To learn more about the warning signs and access a range of free tools that can be used in your workplace, please visit the Heart Foundation website or call the Heart Foundation on 1300 36 27 87.