heart attack

Heart disease is by far the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States and most developed countries. It is responsible for at least one million people dying every year in this country. About half of those deaths at from acute heart attacks otherwise known as acute myocardial infarction, with at least 250,000 people dying each year before they get to the hospital.

The outcome of patients who make it to the hospital with heart attack continues to improve due to progress in management including the use of clot busters and coronary stents that restore blood flow in closed arteries, saving lives and heart muscle.

Why is it, then, that people having a heart attack wait more than two hours before getting help? Experts believe that some patients are so afraid of having a heart attack that they ignore their symptoms or blame them on indigestion, while others recognize the warning signs but decide to wait and see if the symptoms will go away. These delays in seeking help are dangerous and cost lives.

Call 911, whether you are a man or a woman, if you feel any of these warning signs of a heart attack:

-Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and returns

-Chest pain that spreads to the neck, shoulders, jaw, or arms

-Chest pain or discomfort with light headed was, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath

-Chest discomfort or pain that spreads to the stomachs area and feels like an indigestion

-Palpitations, cold sweats and difficulty breathing, or unexplained anxiety in elderly, women, and diabetics