Is Alex having heart attack or panic attack? How would you distinguish the differences?
The symptoms that Alex shows indicate that he is suffering from panic attack. For instance, he has pain localized in the chest area. In heart attack, the pain spreads to the back, arms and the neck. Alex does not have these conditions. In addition, he does not experience nausea and vomiting. It is also worth noting that the condition causing the problem is psychological because he has missed his normal bus.
As a passerby, what would you do to assist Alex?
Alex needs encouragement by telling him that the pain will pass in a few minutes. He should also be encouraged to take slow and even breaths. The symptoms should not be minimized. It is also important to call the ambulance and take him to the nearest health center.
What would you report to the ambulance?
It is important to provide the detailed evidence of the patient’s condition. First, the ambulance should know that Alex has experienced short breaths and is having localized chest pain. I would also report that the condition came abruptly and caused the patient to lose strength. Thirdly, the patient feels hot. Alex’s eyes are dilated and he has a tingling sensation in his fingers.
What would you include in your teaching plan?
A panic attack is a severe anxiety disorder that occurs suddenly and without prior warning. In most cases, it takes place without an apparent reason. It has a lot of side effects that are unpleasant because the body is responding to the threat. To manage the threat, a nurse should make a mask with his or her hands and put them firmly over the patient’s nose and mouth. The patient is then asked to break deeply through the nose. Breathing out should be done slowly with the mouth. A paper bag is required to be positioned over the mouth and nose. Then, creative visualization and affirmations should be provided. In this case, the nurse encourages the patient to re-train his or her imagination and get moving in a positive direction. The patient is asked to think about situations that make him feel better.
Elaborate on slow breathing.
Slow breathing involved breathing in deeply through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. The nurse should place his or her hands over the patient’s mouth and nose. This allows the patient to rebreathe in his exhaled air and restore the balance of carbon dioxide and gases. In this way, the patient’s oxygen will start to return to normal. The patient should be made calm. He should also relax by sitting quietly for a few minutes.
What is your advice for others who might in the future be faced with such a situation as Alex’s panic attack?
People should avoid emotional conflicts and past difficulties in order to reduce the chances of developing panic attack. For instance, people should exercise frequently and involve themselves in situations that allow them to reduce stress, including leisure and entertainment. In addition, it is worth noting that panic attacks are sometimes associated with heart attacks. Therefore, one should go for diagnosis of heart attack when cases of panic attacks are observed.
Long-term strategies for managing panic attacks.
Alex should seek psychotherapy intervention. Psychotherapy allows him to reduce emotional and psychological stress in order to minimize chances of panic attacks in the future. Secondly, he should go for cognitive behavior therapy. In this case, he should be encouraged to change his habitual patterns of thought. He should not look for things and events that make him happy, including entertainment, traveling and other forms of leisure.