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James Martin health: TV Chef recalls heart attack scare that made him re-evaluate things


It is a testament to TV chef James Martin’s popularity that he has occupied the Saturday morning slot on television for almost a decade. Before taking up his current post on Saturday Morning with James Martin, he presented the BBC cookery series Saturday Kitchen. It’s hard to turn down work when you’re in hot demand but that’s a decision James had to take in 2016.

Fortunately, James returned to TV screens in 2017 to host Saturday Morning with James Martin; a show he still presents.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot.

As the NHS explains, a heart attack is a medical emergency.

“Call 999 and ask for an ambulance if you suspect a heart attack,” the health body advises.

It adds: “If aspirin is available and you are not allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-size tablet (300mg) while you wait for the ambulance.”

What are the warning signs?

Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain or discomfort in your chest that happens suddenly and doesn’t go away
  • Pain that spreads to your left or right arm, or to your neck, jaw, back or stomach. For some people the pain or tightness is severe, while for others it’s uncomfortable
  • Feeling sick, sweaty, light-headed or short of breath.

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), it’s possible to have a heart attack without experiencing all these symptoms, and it’s important to remember everyone experiences pain differently.

“For some people the pain or tightness in their chest is severe, while other people just feel uncomfortable, or pain similar to indigestion,” explains the BHF.

As the health body explains, heart attack symptoms can persist over days, or they can come on suddenly and unexpectedly.

A common misconception is that men and women experience different symptoms when having a heart attack.

“While symptoms vary from person to person, there are no symptoms that women experience more or less often than men,” explains the BHF.


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