Acute Cardiac Symptoms Acute Heart Attack

Categories: Uncategorized
Sources: Disturbances Of The Heart

It is not proposed here to describe the condition of sudden cardiac

failure, or acute dilatation during disease, or after a severe heart

strain, but to describe the terrible cardiac agony which occurs,

sometimes repeatedly, with many patients who have valvular lesions.

These patients may not have the symptoms of loss of compensation.

Probably some one or more chambers of the heart become overdistended

and act irregularly, or the blood is suddenly dammed up in the

lungs, with the oppression and dyspnea caused by such passive

congestion, or perhaps it is the right ventricle that is suddenly in

serious trouble.

A physician receives an emergency call, and knows, if it is not a

patient who has hysteria, that it is his duty to see the patient

immediately. The friends of the patient all anxiously await the

physician's arrival; front doors are often wide open, and the

servants and the whole household are in a great state of excitement

and anxiety. The position in which the patient will be found is that

which he has learned gives him the greatest comfort. If the

physician knows his patient, he will know how he will find him. He

may lie sitting up in bed; he may be standing, leaning over a chair;

he may be sitting in a chair leaning over a table or leaning over

the back of another chair; but he is using every auxiliary muscle he

possesses to respire. He is generally bathed in cold perspiration;

the extremities are often icy cold; he calls for air, and to stop

fanning all in one breath; he wishes the perspiration wiped off his

brow, and nearly goes frantic while it is being done; there is agony

depicted on his face; his eyes stare; his expirations are often

groaning. Sometimes there is even incontinence of urine and feces,

often hiccup or short coughs, perhaps vomiting, and possibly sharp

pangs of pain in the cardiac region. A patient with these symptoms

may die at any moment, and the wonder is that so many times one

lives through these paroxysms.

The patient can hardly be questioned, can certainly not be carefully

examined; and herein lies the advantage of the family physician who

knows the patient and his heart, and in whom the patient has


In fact, this confidence which such a patient has in the physician

who has more or less frequently aided him in weathering these

terrible attacks is alone the greatest boon the patient can have.