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Friday, April 2, 2010

Chest Pain

"Heart attacks - God's revenge for eating his little animal friends"
According to Women's Health Magazine, the fourth Warning Sign that should not be ignored is passing chest pain. Now I could have sworn I had already written about heart attacks but could not find it in my blog. So here goes.
While the heart is a powerful muscle, it has NO pain nerves. There is no direct feedback that something is seriously wrong (other than the classic instant death heart attack). Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. People affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help.
We need to recognize a heart attack though its secondary side effects within the first 5 minutes!
Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light headedness
Bottom Line
If you experience the symptoms above call 9-1-1. Even if you're not sure, call 9-1-1. An EMT can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than driving yourself to a hospital. Your doctor will do an EKG to determine whether your heart has been damaged, and then decide on the best response; false alarm, prescribe clot-attacking drugs, or perform surgery to clear your arteries.
Resources
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4595
http://www.healthcentral.com/heart-disease/patient-guide-44510-6.html
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/actintime/haws/women.htm