Heart attacks have beginnings. The early signs of a possible heart attack can occur in about 50 percent of patients. * Some of these signs may occur hours or weeks before an actual heart attack. When symptoms begin, they can be mild or come and go. Over time, the symptoms and pain become more intense. It’s important to talk to your physician right away if you or a loved one experience any of the following early signs of a possible heart attack.
- Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, aching or burning)
- Shortness of breath
- Back and shoulder pain, pain that travels down one or both arms and/or jaw pain
Additional signs of a possible heart attack may include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excessive fatigue or weakness
- Feeling of fullness
Heart Attack Symptoms:
Men and women are different. Women may be less likely to seek immediate medical care. This
is dangerous, since most heart damage can occur within the first two hours of a heart attack. Other differences include:
- Men normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of chest, but in women, these symptoms may appear on the right side.
- Women may feel completely exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous.
- Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into their jaw.
- Women may think their stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or ulcer.
If You Witness Sudden Cardiac Arrest:
- Call 911 right away.
- Find and deploy an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), if possible.
- Perform Hands-Only CPR
In Caring for the Heart, Prevention Can Also Save a Life
Work in partnership with your physician to take action against risk factors that can be controlled:
- Manage your blood sugar.
- Get your blood pressure under control.
- Lower your cholesterol if it’s too high.
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
- Exercise regularly.
- Learn heart healthy recipes. There are so many!
- If you smoke, quit. Support groups and resources can help with this.
- For women, risk factors can also include birth control pills, a history of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or having a low birth weight baby.
- Learn what your family’s medical history may mean for your heart health.
Bradenton Cardiology Center provides comprehensive and advanced heart care options. To make an appointment or for more information, call 941.748.2277.
*Source: American College of Cardiology Foundation
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