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Where to go if you are Worried about a Heart Attack in Pattaya 

Dr Sarawooth Pholsane Cardiologist at Pattaya International Hospital

BY GLORIA JONES

The first thing you notice about Dr Sarawooth when you meet him is his excellent command of the English language, something I complimented him on during the course of our interview. He agrees that it is an important part of his job when dealing with English speaking patients. “A Dr needs to explain clearly and simply what information he needs from the patient and also understand the answers given in order to give an accurate diagnosis”. So I knew that it would be an easy to ask him some questions that would be of interest to us all :

When did you first decide that you wanted to be a doctor ?

I was 10 years old and my father was a hospital technician so I often used to go and see him there.

Where did you study and how long have you been at PIH ?

I trained at the medical University attached to the Queen Sirikit Navy hospital - I now hold the rank of Captain and I have been at Pattaya International Hospital fot 10 years now.

How would you describe the patients you see here ?

I see 50-50 Thais to Foreign patients. During the high season there are more Northern Europeans and I am also seeing more Chinese patients now. As the heart specialist with the hospital, the General doctor will refer patients to me after his initial examination, especially those with critical problems. I am also on standby for emergencies because early diagnosis is essential, especially with heart attacks and strokes.

How often would you recommend people have a general health check?

Once every year is good in order to determine the risk factors for possible heart problems. Once you know these then prevention is far better than cure

Over the age of 40 everyone will see an increase in plaque formation in the arteries which if not controlled can rupture and cause a stroke or a heart attack A heart attack can be like an earthquake it can suddenly erupt with little or no warning.You cannot control aging and your genetic make-up but you can change your lifestyle to include healthy food and exercise and most important of all to STOP SMOKING!

When taking blood pressure what is the ideal reading for a healthy level.

130/ over 80

What are the early warning signs of a Heart Attack ?

PRESSURE PAIN - Discomfort - feeling of the chest being squeezed

PAIN IN THE ARM AND JAW

SWEATING

FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO BREATHE

Dr Sawooth then went on to explain that now in Thailand 2 people die every hour from heart attacks. Secondary Diabetes is also on the increase here with Thai people now consuming more burgers, fast food, fizzy drinks and sugar in their food. Diabetes can add to the risk factor for heart problems.

Of the heart problems he treats he says there are really 3 main categories

  1. Heart Attack - Vascular problems - that can be treated with balloon surgery

  2. Uneven Rhythm - when the heart beats too fast or too slowly - if recognised quickly this can be treated by a quick shock

  3. Valve problems - when patients often find it difficult to breathe -can be detected by ultrasound to investigate quickly whether the valves are working properly.

In the case of a stroke it is also important that friends and relatives can spot the signs of this happening. Once again the sooner a patient is brought in to hospital the better the chances of a full recovery.

SYMPTOMS OF A STROKE

WEAKNESS IN 1 SIDE OF THE BODY AND ONE SIDE OF THE FACE Causing an unsymmetrical appearance.

DIFFICULTY IN SPEAKING

LOSS OF BALANCE

GENERAL WEAKNESS INABILITY TO WALK

Again to avoid a Stroke know and learn to control your risk factors:

High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes. These can all be checked for by use of a simple blood test. Smoking and a lack of exercise can also add to the danger. Control your risk factors, Watch out for Early Warning Sigms - Get a regular health check up and go see Dr Sarawooth for friendly informative care!