Be prepared when your risk for a heart attack increases.

The left anterior descending artery (LAD) supplies most of the blood to your heart. When plaque blocks the LAD, blood flow stops, and a heart attack can be eminent. Widowmaker is a term used to describe a heart attack that can claim nearly 90% of the people every time it occurs.

When you are not in a hospital, care facility, or place with an AED (automated external defibrillator) and someone who can recognize symptoms and act, you will die before you can get to the hospital almost every time.

Widowmaker Heart Attack Heart attacks are not always lethal. However, widowmaker heart attacks are deadly almost 90% of the time. When a heart attack blocks blood flow in the LAD, your heart will stop functioning.

A heart starving for oxygen can result in ventricular fibrillation. When this happens, the ventricles of the heart quivers instead of pumps. The electrical circuits are disrupted and require resetting with an AED. When left untreated, blood pressure will drop to unhealthily low levels, consciousness wanes quickly, and death usually occurs without intervention.

Widowmaker Causes and Symptoms Lifestyle (smoking, obesity, and sedentary activities) and genetic factors are significant causes of artery blockage. Arteries are coated one layer of molecules at a time. Over a lifetime, hypertension and diabetes contribute to oxidized cholesterol plaque deposits in the heart’s arteries. A waiting game commences.

Heart attack symptoms vary. Some feel chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Women may have similar symptoms but often have pain in the jaw or neck, sweating, fatigue, and sometimes flu-like symptoms.

What Do You Do? When you or someone is observing a person having symptoms of a heart attack, time is critical. Call 911. Do not drive yourself. You put others at risk.

Chew and swallow an aspirin. The aspirin should be at least 325-mg and not enteric-coated. Aspirin prevents permanent clot permanent damage.

Some people may have nitroglycerin. Your doctor should have given you specific instructions on when to use nitroglycerin when heart attack symptoms occur.

CPR is mandatory when a person becomes unconscious. I had experience not that long ago giving CPR to an unconscious friend. I highly recommend that when someone in your family is at risk for a heart attack, all members of that household should be CPR-trained. Time is critical when treating a heart that has stopped.

Most people do not have an AED. If you have one, follow the instructions explicitly when a heart attack occurs.

It is critical to keep blood flowing through the heart when a heart attack occurs. Aspirin, nitroglycerine, CPR, and AED minimize long-term consequences resulting from not being treated before an ambulance arrives.

Heart Health Prevention Common sense coupled with awareness and education gives most of us the basics for good health. No smoking or excessive drinking, regular exercise, lowering salt intake, daily stress reduction, and a healthy diet reduce heart-related disease risk.


Having had a significant LAD blockage last month and no symptoms whatsoever, I have become more aware and educated on this topic and coronary artery disease in general.

I was fortunate because my heart grew new blood vessels, a DIY bypass without surgery. ( Other than some minor needle-sharp pains in my chest pectoral muscles when I was chilled or lifting heavy objects, I had no reason to doubt that my heart was not functioning well.

I always add extra blood tests to my annual physical to track my overall health. I had no warning, other than some minor, fleeting discomfort in my chest muscles. My symptoms did not align with angina symptoms.

I am in control of my current health and more aware of what could have happened.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



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