One day, shortly after eating a big meal, you feel an unusual pain in your chest. You may wonder: Could it be a heart attack? But you don’t want to believe that—or upset your family with your concerns. Besides, what if the pain is just indigestion?
But your family and friends are actually among the biggest reasons why you should never ignore any possible heart attack symptoms. The sooner you get emergency help for a heart attack, the better your chances of still being around for them.
A heart attack happens when the heart’s blood supply is suddenly cut off, which damages the heart. If you call 911 and let an ambulance take you to a hospital, prompt treatment can help you survive with less damage to your heart.
As seen on TV? Don’t count on it
Heart attacks aren’t always the swift and intense events that are portrayed on TV. So some people may delay calling 911 because they don’t realize that what they’re feeling is a heart attack.
Most heart attacks involve discomfort (felt in the center of the chest) that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes. Many people describe it as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. Other warning signs or symptoms can include:
• Pain in the upper body—such as in the back, neck, jaw, shoulders, or one or both arms.
• Shortness of breath.
• Cold sweat, upset stomach or dizziness.
• Extreme tiredness, especially in women.
If you suspect that you might be having a heart attack, don’t second-guess yourself. Call 911 immediately. Your loved ones will be glad you did.
In honor of February being American Heart Month, Carson Valley Medical Center is offering a discounted screening package on Wednesday throughout the month.
The package includes an EKG, ABI screening and a lipid panel. Cost of the complete package is $99. Call 775-782-1533 to make an appointment.
Sources: American Heart Association; National Institutes of Health