If you experience any of the following symptoms, consistent with a heart attack or acute coronary syndrome, call 911 immediately:
- Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms
- Lightheadedness or sudden weakness
- A fast or irregular heartbeat
Survive. Don’t Drive. Do not attempt to drive yourself to seek care if you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.
If someone collapses, call 911. Perform Hands-Only CPR and ask someone to locate an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Pardee’s Emergency Department is equipped to handle heart attacks and has earned Chest Pain Center Accreditation by the American College of Cardiology. With our staff of interventional cardiologists and our on-site cardiac catheterization lab, we offer lifesaving cardiac catheterization to open blocked arteries and minimize damage to your heart muscle.
Heart Attack Care, Close to Home
During a heart attack, a cardiac catheterization becomes a lifesaving procedure, as the doctor races to open the blood vessel before permanent damage to the heart occurs. With our designated Chest Pain Center accreditation by the American College of Cardiology, we must maintain extensive treatment protocols in our Emergency Department to quickly treat patients with heart attack symptoms. With our interventional cardiologist, Dr. Eduardo Balcells, and Emergency Department staff, we’re ready to activate our Catheterization Lab team to treat you or to transfer you to a nearby hospital in severe cases. Learn more about interventional cardiology and heart attack care at Pardee.
Heart Attack Differences Men vs Women
Some heart attack symptoms can be different between men and women. Why does it matter? Women may be less likely to seek immediate medical care which can cause more damage to the heart.
- Men normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of chest, but in women, these symptoms may appear on the right side.
- Women may feel completely exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous.
- Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into their jaw.
- Women may think their stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or an ulcer.
What are atypical presentations?
In an atypical presentation, the signs and symptoms are different. How? The patient may not complain about pain or pressure in the chest. Be alert for the following:
- A sharp or “knife-like” pain that occurs with coughing or breathing.
- Pain that spreads above the jawbone or into the lower body.
- Difficult or labored breathing.
What are the risk factors?
These are the general risk factors associated with heart attacks. Discuss your risk with your doctor.
- Chest pain, pressure, burning, aching or tightness - it may come and go
- A family history of cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obese
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Using tobacco products
- Metabolic disease, diabetes or other illnesses
- For women it can also include birth control pills, a history of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or having a low birth weight baby
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Looking for heart attack and heart health resources? Check out the great PDF's below: