Heart Attacks

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
  • Sweating
  • 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
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Extreme fatigue

Survive. Don’t Drive. Do not attempt to drive yourself or someone else 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).

Heart Attack Care, Close to Home

During a heart attack, a cardiac catheterization becomes a lifesaving procedure, as the interventional cardiologist races to open the blood vessel before permanent damage to the heart occurs. As a designated PCI-receiving hospital, patients experiencing a heart attack in Henderson, Transylvania or Polk County will be transported by EMS to Pardee for treatment. Offering 24/7 STEMI care and having Chest Pain Center accreditation by the American College of Cardiology, we must maintain extensive treatment protocols in our Emergency Center to quickly treat patients with heart attack symptoms. With our interventional cardiologists and Emergency Center staff, we’re ready to activate our Catheterization Lab team to treat you and it all starts when EMS is activated by calling 9-1-1.  Driving to the hospital delays treatment. Always call 9-1-1 so that EMS can assess and begin initial care during transport to the hospital and notify our team of all updates as our cardiologist awaits the patient’s arrival. Learn more here.

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

Click here to find out your risk! Enter Access code AHA022 to find out your risk!