“Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs” is an important slogan to remember.
What does it mean? Quick response with medical intervention can prevent permanent heart damage or even save your life!
Many people are embarrassed to call 911 for help if they aren’t sure they are having a heart attack. This is very unfortunate because quick action can save a life. Many heart attacks start slowly with a mild pain or discomfort or feeling like you have indigestion.
Symptoms can differ between men and women. The symptoms can come and go. Why does a quick response make such a big difference in survival rates? The answer is because clot-busting drugs and other artery opening treatments can stop a heart attack in its tracks, thus preventing or limiting damage.
But they need to be started immediately after symptoms begin; the sooner the better! Ideally the time frame is within 1 hour. This doesn’t leave much time to debate whether or not you should seek treatment!
What are the symptoms of a heart attack? Chest pain or discomfort; Discomfort in other areas of the upper body; Shortness of breath; Other symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, dizziness, unusual fatigue or feeling like you have indigestion, but it doesn’t go away.
For women, the warning sign of chest pain or discomfort may be less pronounced than it is in men or may not occur at all.
Because heart attack symptoms may be less severe in women, it may make it harder to identify and diagnose and may be for another illness.
Who should you call if you suspect a heart attack? The answer is 911. Emergency medical personnel can start you on treatment the moment they arrive on the scene.
For an information packet on this topic, QVHD residents can call 203 248-4528 or request on line, www.qvhd.org