Signs of a Heart Attack and What You Should Do

heartattack454316347Heart attack is the number one cause of death in women and men in the United States.  It is estimated that one in every four deaths are caused by a heart attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, that only 27% of people know the warning signs of a heart attack and when to call 9-1-1. Knowing the signs of a heart attack and following the suggested guidelines can reduce the probability of death.

Warning signs differ with each individual; they may be mild or severe. For some the attack can be immediate while for others symptoms can begin days or weeks in advance. Heart attacks have several key symptoms and warning signs to be aware of, some of which include:

  • Chest pains or discomfort (This is the most common symptom)
  • A squeezing, aching  or pressure sensation in the chest or arms, this may spread to the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out into a cold sweat
  • Nausea and (or) vomiting
  • Dizziness

If someone is experiencing these symptoms, act immediately and call 9-1-1. While waiting for emergency response, if nitroglycerin is prescribed by a doctor it should be given as instructed. Aspirin can also help during a heart attack by reducing damage to the heart and preventing the blood from clotting. However aspirin should be administered only if recommended by a physician, as aspirin can have adverse effects if taken with certain medications.

Complications due to heart disease can be prevented by exercising, quitting smoking, eating heart- healthy foods such as salmon, getting regular health screenings, taking medication, reducing alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight.

To make an appointment  to discuss, improve or maintain your heart health  call Jamaica Hospital’s  Ambulatory  Care Center at 718- 206- 7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.