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Know The Symptoms of a Heart Attack so You Can Act Fast

Written by Courteney

Posted on November 5, 2016 at 10:11 pm


A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infraction, occurs when the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart is cut off or drastically reduced. This happens because of artherosclerosis, a build up of plaque on the artery walls which leads to narrow, hardened arteries and sometimes complete blockages. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and approximately 730,000 Americans have a heart attack annually. Because of these startling numbers, it is vitally important to know the signs and symptoms of acute heart trouble so you can take immediate action and hopefully experience a better outcome.

What Are Common Symptoms Of A Heart Attack?

Some heart attacks are immediate but others come on gradually, so it is important to act quickly if you experience:

  1. Chest pain or discomfort (many women experience only a feeling of “pressure” in the chest)
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Nausea or vomiting (along with other symptoms)
  4. Unusual pain in your upper body like your shoulders, neck or jaw
  5. Upper stomach discomfort that may feel similar to heartburn
  6. Syncope (fainting)
  7. Extreme unexplained and sudden fatigue
  8. Cold sweats

Symptoms May be Different for Everyone

Other symptoms include anxiety or unexplained fear, light-headedness or faintness. It is also important to know that men are more likely to experience classic symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, whereas many women experience less chest pain, more jaw pain and nausea.

Know the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

While a heart attack often has several symptoms, as we mentioned above, a cardiac arrest is often more sudden and comes with little warning. According to ACLS Medical training, a cardiac arrest occurs when the natural electrical conduction of the heart is interrupted by an arrhythmia, causing the person to collapse until they are revived. A cardiac arrest can be fatal unless immediate CPR or emergency defibrillation action is taken.

Don’t Wait Around – Take Action!

If you (or a loved one) are experiencing the above listed symptoms, don’t try to be a hero by ‘waiting it out’. Take immediate action. Of those who die of heart attacks, half die within the first hour of symptoms before even reaching the hospital. The earlier you receive emergency medical treatment, the better your chances of a positive outcome. If the heart is without oxygenated blood for too long you could die or become severely disabled for life. If you are wrong and aren’t having a heart attack, there is no harm done by seeking treatment. So, know the signs, know your own body and act fast.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Stay happy and healthy!

 

 

 

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