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Heart Attack: Know the Warning Signs

What is happening when you feel like your chest is about to explode? You could be having a heart attack. Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the US, and sadly one person dies every 37 seconds from a heart attack. A heart attack is the number one killer of both men and women in the US. That means one in every four deaths in this country is a result of heart disease. Every year about 805,000 Americans suffers a heart attack. When you break this number down, 605,000 of these are first heart attack and 200,000 are people who have already had a heart attack.
To understand why heart attacks happen, you need to understand how the heart works. The heart is a muscle that pumps blood throughout the body. Blood is important because it carries oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle; your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely, whereas the heart doesn’t get enough blood. When there is not enough blood flowing to your heart muscle, it can become dangerous for your body and you can die.
Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack can save your life and the lives of others. The most common symptoms and the sign of a heart attack are chest pain or pressure in the chest area. People who are having a heart attack may experience a variety of symptoms but for many, chest discomfort is the first sign. Other symptoms include pain or discomfort in the jaw, arms, shoulder, neck, or back, sweating, heartburn, shortness of breath, toothache, headache, nausea and/or vomiting, weakness or light-headedness.
Keep in mind that about 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent. You can have a heart attack without feeling any chest pain. That’s why it is important to pay attention to the other symptoms and not to ignore them. Heart failure and heart disease don’t show the same signs for everyone, especially in women or children, that can cause a heart attack.
If you or someone around you are experiencing heart attack warning signs, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY! Calling 911 is always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. An emergency medical services (EMS) team can begin treatment when they arrive up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance will receive faster lifesaving treatment at the hospital. As a result, thousands of people survive heart attacks and go on to lead productive enjoyable lives.
Knowledge is power, and knowing the warning signs of a Heart Attack can help save your life and the lives of others. If you have heart disease or have had a heart attack, you are not alone. Thousands of people have recovered from a heart attack and go on to live a healthier and longer life; they work proactively with their physician and create a heart-healthy medical plan. A heart attack is a frightening experience that can be prevented. Know the warning sign and save a life. The life you save could be your own.

Cokeitha Gaddist
Cokeitha Gaddist (98 Posts)