Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In remembrance year 2: Know the signs

Dorothy Irene 4/26/24 - 11/24/98
(yours truly as the not-politically-correct blonde Indian in 1970s attire)

My yearly Thanksgiving post to increase awareness of the signs of a heart attack, still the #1 killer for women. Here's why, and here's the source for the information below.

Here are some signs a heart attack may be happening:

  • 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. This feeling may occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs of discomfort. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don't wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help.

Please, please don't wait. It is far better to have a family member's chest pain and discomfort turn out to be pneumonia in an ambulance than to inherit your grandma's car knowing her last time driving it was to the hospital where she died within hours. Trust me.