British expat saved from imminent heart attack
Experiencing chest discomfort John Davies went for a routine check-up to RAK Hospital where tests revealed four blocked coronary arteries
Chest pain should be considered a cardiac issue until proven otherwise, warns doctor at RAK Hospital
June 13th, 2019; Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: People over the age of 30, when experiencing chest pain should consider it a cardiac issue until proven otherwise, warns Dr Arun Goyal, Senior Consultant and Head of Cardiac Surgery Department, RAK Hospital. Moreover, everyone over the age of 35 should get a regular cardiac health check-up to keep a close eye on their heart health.
The warning came in the light of a recent case of a British expat who was able to evade imminent heart attack by taking timely measure of consulting a doctor when he faced chest discomfort.
A routine visit to RAK Hospital ended with a coronary bypass for Ras Al Khaimah-based 49-year-old British expat John Davies. The CFO at RAK Ports was facing high blood pressure issues and chest discomfort, and as precautionary measure had come for a check-up to RAK Hospital where tests revealed that he was suffering from no less than four blocked arteries – about which he had no idea. Moreover, he was also found to be hypertensive.
“We took the patients symptoms and complaints seriously and tested him on cardiac injury markers used in the diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with chest pain and suspected acute coronary syndrome. This was all the more important since he has a very strong family history of ischemic heart disease and thromboembolic episodes,” explained Dr Arun Goyal, who performed the bypass surgery on Davies, “We tested the patient’s blood for Troponin, a protein found in cardiac and skeletal muscle, which releases into the blood in case of heart damage, and found the results to be positive. So we did his coronary angiogram which found multiple blockages in his arteries.”
Doctors suggested Beating Heart bypass surgery for Davies, since it results in faster recovery, lesser blood transfusion and fewer side effects. Moreover, the cognitive functions of brain are also maintained.
“This surgery is also called ‘Off Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery’ and simply put, we do this procedure while the heart is still beating and the lungs are performing, as opposed to the surgery when the heart is stopped. We use a tissue stabilization system to immobilise the area of the heart where we’re working. In all, Davies’ bypass surgery took four hours in which we put four grafts in his arteries,” added Dr Goyal.
The patient was discharged from the hospital on the seventh post-operative day, and is subsequently leading a normal life. He has been put on medication to reduce hypertension, maintain cholesterol level and thin blood.
Doctors have time and again warned that chest pain, while often considered as an indication of heart burn or gastric issue, could be a cause of a far serious nature and should not be taken lightly. While severe chest pain is the most obvious symptom of heart attack or stroke, other signs include a feeling of tightness or squeezing in the left arm that can spread to the neck, jaw or back, shortness of breath, nausea, cold sweat, sudden dizziness and fatigue among others. If experiencing anything like this, doctors suggest visiting a specialist and getting tested for heart damage.
Commenting on the surgery, Davies thanked RAK Hospital and the staff for taking care of him, and for timely intervention that saved him from a potentially dangerous episode that could have potentially crippled his lifestyle.