You may know chest pain is a symptom of a heart attack, at least, you do now. Knowing this, what would you do if you, or someone around you, complained of this symptom? Brush it off, stating you’ll be “fine in a minute”? Decide to give it a couple of hours and “see how you feel”?
While these are common responses, avoiding treatment out of fear of embarrassment, hurt pride, or denial could cost you your life. Weigh out the risks and rewards; feelings heal, heart damage may not.
The minutes within the start of a heart attack are your window of opportunity, meaning, opportunity for life!
Consider these facts:
- 1 out of every 7 deaths in the U.S. are caused by heart disease
- Of those who die from a heart attack, half die within an hour of the first symptoms
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have the resources to begin immediate treatment and they are likely to reach you, before you can reach a hospital.
Convinced that seeking help is the right choice? Great! Now, it’s time to enhance your awareness so you won’t miss an early warning of a heart attack. And remember, you may need to be the loud voice of reason for someone else who isn’t yet convinced.
- Men and women often experience symptoms differently. In women, it’s not uncommon to also experience nausea/vomiting, fatigue, and pain in the back, shoulders or jaw.
- Chest pain can be mild with a little discomfort, or sharp and sudden. It may even feel like heartburn (indigestion)
- Lightheaded or dizzy
- Cold sweats
- Shortness of breath
- If you have diabetes, symptoms may not exist or be very mild due to nerve damage. Be on the lookout for other potential symptoms of heart attack previously listed.
Test your knowledge…
- Which of the following is a possible heart attack symptom?
a) Difficulty exercising, shortness of breath
b) Changes in taste
c) Double vision
d) Tingling in the toes
- What symptom of a heart attack is unique to women?
a) Swollen tongue
c) Pain in the back, shoulders or jaw
d) Knee pain
- If you notice any symptoms of a heart attack, you should immediately…
a) Call 9-1-1
b) Call 9-1-1
c) Call 9-1-1
d) All of the above
ANSWERS: 1) a, 2) c, 3) d