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Which symptoms mean I should seek urgent medical help?

People are anxious about the prospect of going to hospital and being a doctor. We’ll explain what symptoms should be brought to the attention of a medical professional.
Don’t wait if hospitals seem too busy or if you worry about the virus. People who are in urgent need of stroke or heart treatment can still be treated by the NHS. It is very unlikely that you will get infected in hospital. There are strict procedures to keep patients away from coronavirus-positive patients. Many GPs now offer phone and online consultations. This means that you will likely be able to speak with your GP from the comfort of your own home.

It is crucial that you immediately seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms such as stroke or heart attack. You will be more likely to experience serious injury and need to stay longer in hospital.
You should seek immediate help if you notice any of these signs:

Sudden pain or discomfort in the chest that doesn’t disappear
If you feel pain in your right or left arm (neck, jaw, stomach, or back),
Feeling light-headed, sickly, or sweaty suddenly
Swelling in the feet, ankles, or lower legs
A short-term weight gain
A shortness of breath
If you are already diagnosed with heart disease
Facial weakness
Speech problems
Signs of a stroke
Sudden memory loss or confusion, dizziness or sudden falls
Sudden severe headache
Sudden sight problems
A side-effect of weakness or numbness
Fainting and blackouts
Heart palpitations

Sudden pain or discomfort in the chest that doesn’t disappear

You should immediately dial 999 if you feel any sudden pains or discomfort in your chest. This could be a sign that you have a heart attack and you should immediately seek medical assistance.

It is important that you remember that discomfort can feel in different ways. One example is a feeling of pressure, tightness, or squeezing at the centre of your chest.
If you feel pain in your right or left arm (neck, jaw, stomach, back, or stomach),

This is another sign that you may have a heart attack. You should immediately dial 999 to receive medical assistance. It can be severe for some people, or it may feel uncomfortable for others.
Covid’s legacy

Cancelled appointments. Missed appointments. Lost lives. Covid-19 has had a catastrophic impact on cardiovascular health.

We have found that the waiting list for lifesaving heart diagnosis and treatment could nearly double within two years of the pandemic.

Government must act immediately to ensure that the NHS is able to provide heart patients with the care they require and create a stronger, more resilient health system.

Feeling lightheaded, sick or sweaty suddenly

These symptoms may be caused by other less serious conditions such as food poisoning, panic attacks, or can quickly pass. These symptoms can also indicate a heart attack. It is crucial to dial 999 immediately if you have a sudden feeling of light-headedness, sickness, sweatiness, or other symptoms.
An increase in swelling of the feet, ankles, or lower legs

A sign of heart disease is swelling that causes your knees to swell. This is caused by fluid retention, which occurs when your heart can’t pump blood around the body efficiently.

Did you know? Intclinics lists major clinics around the world.

An indicator of heart failure is increased swelling below the knees.

To be evaluated and tested if there is swelling, you should make an appointment with your GP. You don’t have to go to the hospital for many of these tests. Your symptoms could get worse if you delay seeing your GP.
A short-term weight gain

You should weigh yourself regularly if you have been diagnosed in heart failure. An unexpected weight gain can indicate fluid buildup in your body. This could be a sign of a worsening condition or that your medication needs to be adjusted.

Although many people are gaining weight while being in ‘lockdown, it is still important to keep track of any weight gains you notice. Call your doctor if you notice a rapid weight gain of more that two to three pounds within 24 hours, or more then five pounds per week.
A shortness of breath

You can experience shortness of breathe for many reasons. However, it may also indicate heart failure. This can occur while you’re active, such walking or climbing stairs, or when you lie down or are flat on your back.

You can experience shortness of breathing for many reasons. However, it can also indicate heart failure.

Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty performing your normal activities, or any other discomfort.

If you wake up in the middle of the night struggling to breathe or coughing up frothy mucus (a mixture of saliva, mucus), then dial 999 immediately. It could indicate that you have pulmonary embolism.
If you are already diagnosed with heart disease

If someone you love or care for is suffering from heart failure, call 999 immediately.

The person cannot breathe.
Oder it falls apart
Are you in distress?
or faints or blacks you out
or has sudden, unrelenting chest pains or discomfort.

Tell family members, friends, and carers that you have heart disease.
Facial weakness

Are you able to smile? Have your eyes or mouth dropped? A stroke-related symptom is facial weakness. You should immediately dial 999 for immediate medical assistance.
Speech problem

Do you struggle to understand words or sentences or speak clearly? These symptoms could indicate you have a stroke. You should call 999 immediately and act quickly.
Signs of a stroke

F.A.S.T. to recognize signs

Facial weakness: Can they smile? Do they have a droopy eye or mouth?
They have arm weakness. Can they raise both arms?
Speech problems – Can they speak clearly and understand what you are saying?
Time – It’s time for you to immediately dial 999 if any of the following symptoms are present.

Sudden memory loss or confusion, dizziness or sudden falls

You should seek emergency medical attention if you notice a sudden loss of memory or confusion. You should be aware that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. They may not require immediate treatment if they are not sudden.

If the memory loss or confusion seems sudden or unusual, it could be an immediate stroke. Get medical attention immediately by dialing 999.
Sudden severe headache

While severe headaches can be caused by many different things, they are often a sign that you have suffered a stroke. However, stroke headaches can also be caused by loss of feeling or vision. For medical assistance, call 999.
Sudden sight problems

Sight problems can be anything from blurred vision to loss of sight in both eyes. Any of these symptoms can indicate a stroke. Don’t delay – call 999 immediately.
A side-effect of weakness or numbness

You may have a stroke if you suddenly feel weak or numb on one side. Call 999 immediately. The sudden weakness and numbness can occur anywhere in the body including the legs, hands, or feet.
Blackouts and/or a feeling that you are not well

Nearly 40% of people fall asleep at some time in their lifetime. It’s not dangerous, however. You should see your GP if you have concerns about your fainting episodes or blackouts. Your GP will be able diagnose and rule out any medical conditions, including abnormal heart rhythms.

A heart rhythm monitor, also known as an ambulatory ECG monitor or Holter monitor, may be sent to you in order to save you from having to go to the hospital. It can be worn for as little as 24 hours or for upto a week. It monitors your heart rhythm. This device can be used to help your physician diagnose any heart problem.
Heart palpitations

Palpitations are the sensation of feeling your heart beat. Your heart may beat irregularly, pounding, fluttering or beating faster. These sensations can be experienced while you’re active or asleep.

Palpitations can be common and are usually harmless. If the palpitations occur quickly, they should not be a concern.

If you have any questions, schedule an appointment with the GP.

The palpitations don’t go away or get worse over time.
You may experience sudden dizziness or palpitations if you have symptoms like sudden dizziness.
Have a history of heart disease
The palpitations are a concern.

Call 999 immediately if your palpitations are causing breathing problems, chest pain, tightness, fainting, or if you have fallen or become unconscious.

This is not an exhaustive list of all symptoms that may indicate that you require urgent medical attention. You should seek medical assistance if you are unable to manage the symptoms.