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Heart Attack Symptoms Differ in Women - Page 2

Page 2 of 3

HELP! I THINK I'M HAVING A HEART ATTACK

Typically, a woman's symptoms are:

  • Upper back or shoulder pain
    Jaw pain or pain spreading to the jaw
    Pressure or pain in the center of the chest
    Lightheadedness
    Pain that spreads to the arm
    Unusual fatigue for several days

Like stroke, a heart attack is a medical emergency and fast, accurate response is critical.

If you suspect that you're having a heart attack, call 911 immediately and insist on being taken to the closest emergency medical facility, by ambulance.

If you aren't sure that what you're feeling is an about-to-occur heart attack, call 911 anyway.

The faster you act, the more likely you are to be treated in time and enjoy total recovery. The longer you wait, the more permanent the damage to your heart muscle.

Rapid expert intervention is of critical importance, and begins in the ambulance.

Going to the hospital by ambulance, rather than car, improves your chances for a successful recovery because an ambulance is essentially a hospital on wheels staffed by experts who:

• Assess your condition
• Communicate with the hospital so no time is wasted in preparing for your arrival
• Start potentially life-saving treatment immediately before you reach the hospital

Click here to read the an ER nurses's accounting of her own heart attack.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS WHEN YOU'RE HAVING A HEART ATTACK OR STROKE

Irregular heart rhythms that can occur during a heart attack may cause quick death if you're not...

• on a heart monitor
• being given necessary medications
• treated with the right equipment, such as a defibrillator.

When a coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood clot and blood can't reach the heart muscle, the muscle begins to die. Called a STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction), it's diagnosed in the ambulance by an electrocardiogram (EKG).

To restore blood flow and minimize damage to the heart muscle, fast action is required.

WHY DOES A HEART ATTACK HAPPEN?
Heart disease most often results from a narrowing or blockage of your coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart. Coronary artery disease happens slowly over time, which is why it's so important that you schedule annual checkups with your doctor.

Sadly, two-thirds of women who experience a heart attack fail to make a full recovery, and women who have had a heart attack are at greater risk for having a second one.

Another factor is genetics: If your parents or any member of your family had suffered heart disease or stroke, your chances of experiencing one is greater.

The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to suffer heart disease.



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Tuesday, 21 May 2024

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