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How To Tell Heart Attack

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What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack

How to Know if You’re Having a Heart Attack

The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.

What If Your Doctor Assures You It’s Just Stress Or Fatigue

If a young, healthy patient doesnt have other risk factors, the likelihood of having significant coronary artery disease is low. It may not be appropriate to jump into testing. But the important thing is to always keep coronary risks in mind. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms that dont go away or get worse should go back to a doctor for further evaluation.

What Is A Small Heart Attack

The full details of Odenkirk’s heart attack are not yet known. Heart attacks vary in severity, but experts say all of them are reason for concern. “Despite a good outcome, a mild heart attack is still a big deal. All heart attacks are serious,” said Joseph Campbell, MD, a cardiologist with the Cleveland Clinic.

A “mild heart attack” is commonly known as a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction, or NSTEMI. That’s due to how the heartbeat looks on an electrocardiogram. “If you were told you’ve had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart didn’t suffer much damage and still pumps normally,” said Campbell.

Again, it’s not clear if this is the type of heart attack Odenkirk suffered. But it’s important to know the signs of a mild, or even “silent” heart attack.

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Heart Attack Types And Diagnosis

A heart attack is also called a myocardial infarction, sometimes simply referred to as an MI. A heart attack occurs when a blockage in one or more coronary arteries reduces or stops blood flow to the heart, which starves part of the heart muscle of oxygen.

The blood vessel blockage might be complete or partial:

  • A complete blockage of a coronary artery means you suffered a STEMI heart attack which stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
  • A partial blockage translates to an NSTEMI heart attack a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

Diagnostic steps differ for STEMI and NSTEMI heart attacks, although there can be some overlap.

Remember: Never try to diagnose yourself. Always dial 911 if you think you might be having a heart attack. The EMS crew in your ambulance will route you to the right hospital based on your location.

Heart Attack And Sudden Cardiac Arrest Differences

How to Tell the Difference Between a Heart Attack and a ...

People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are not synonyms. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a circulation problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem.

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Less Likely To Be A Heart Attack

Sensation of pain, or of pressure, tightness, squeezing, or burning

Sharp or knifelike pain brought on by breathing or coughing

Gradual onset of pain over the course of a few minutes

Sudden stabbing pain that lasts only a few seconds

Pain in diffuse area, including a constant pain in middle of chest

Pain clearly on one side of the body or the other

Pain that extends to the left arm, neck, jaw, or back

Pain that is localized to one small spot

Pain or pressure accompanied by other signs, such as difficulty breathing, a cold sweat, or sudden nausea

Pain that lasts for many hours or days without any other symptoms

Pain or pressure that appears during or after physical exertion or emotional stress or while you are at rest

Pain reproduced by pressing on the chest or with body motion

Get The Heart Care You Need When You Need It

Each year about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack, and about 655,000 die of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means heart disease is responsible for one in every four deaths, making it the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Remember, if you think youre having a heart attack:

  • Chew one adult-strength aspirin to help keep your blood from clotting.
  • Stay on the phone with the emergency operator as you wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself to the hospital.

A heart attack can be a scary experience. But remember that were here for you, and comprehensive heart care and recovery options are never far away.

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Why Choose The Hospitals Of Providence For Your Early Heart Attack Care

The Hospitals of Providence has EHAC teams who genuinely care about you and your loved ones. Our hospitals are located across El Paso to provide accessible care to the communities in this city and nearby areas. At the same time, we have received multiple recognitions for the compassionate care and patient-centered cardiovascular services we offer.

Some of the accreditations and recognitions we received in recent years are as follows:

For Sierra Campus

  • Chest Pain Reaccreditation by the Society of Cardiovascular Care
  • ACC HeartCARE Center Designation by the American College of Cardiology
  • Grade A rating for patient safety in the Leapfrog Groups Fall 2019 Safety Score

What Is A Heart Attack

Panic Attack vs Heart Attack: How To Tell The Difference

A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, happens when a part of the heart muscle doesnt get enough blood.

The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart muscle.

Coronary artery disease is the main cause of heart attack. A less common cause is a severe spasm, or sudden contraction, of a coronary artery that can stop blood flow to the heart muscle.

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People Who Have These So

  • indigestion or
  • a case of the flu, or
  • they may think that they strained a muscle in their chest or their upper back.
  • It also may not be discomfort in the chest, it may be in the jaw or the upper back or arms, she says.

Some folks have prolonged and excessive fatigue that is unexplained. Those are some of the less specific symptoms for a heart attack, but ones that people may ignore or attribute to something else.

Identifying The Classic Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

  • Be aware of any chest discomfort or pain. Consistent with a survey done by the middle for Disease Control and Prevention, 92% of individuals recognized that pain was a symptom of an attack, but only 27% were conscious of all the symptoms and knew when to call their local emergency number. Although pain may be a common and classic symptom, youll initially believe youre affected by bad epigastric pain or heartburn.
  • Pain from an attack seems like someone is squeezing your chest or an elephant is sitting on your chest it cant be relieved with antacids.
  • However, during a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that 31% of men and 42% of women didnt experience pain, which is usually related to an attack. Diabetic patients also are in danger of fewer classic symptoms of an attack.
  • Note of any upper body pain. Pain from an attack can spread beyond the chest to the upper shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. In fact, you would possibly not experience pain in your chest in the least. A chronic toothache or upper back pain are often the first signs of an attack.
  • Expect mild symptoms initially. Most heart attacks begin with mild symptoms described below. However, dont be tempted to tough it out. Instead, if the symptoms dont disappear within five minutes, call your local emergency number for immediate medical treatment.

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Signs Of Heart Attack That You Shouldnt Ignore

About every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack in the US. Most people imagine that having a heart attack is always intense. But the truth is that sometimes you may be unsure if your are suffering from a heart attack because the signs can be subtle and different from what you may typically think of.

This makes heart attacks very dangerous. In fact, 1 in 5 heart attacks goes unnoticed, meaning the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of blood supply but the person is not aware of that this has occurred.

So what are the signs of a heart attack both subtle and not-so-subtle? Here are 4 signs of heart attack to be on the lookout for:

What’s The Difference Between A Cardiac Arrest And A Heart Attack

Andy Warhol (1928

The phrases cardiac arrest and heart attack are often confused, however are different.If youre having a cardiac arrest you will be unconscious, not breathing or not breathing normally. Your heart has stopped pumping blood around your body and youll need CPR and medical attention immediately. During a heart attack you’ll be conscious and breathing, but experiencing chest pain or discomfort.A heart attack is a medical emergency and can lead to cardiac arrest so its important to seek medical attention straight away.

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Causes Of Silent Heart Attack

As mentioned above, the cause of a silent heart attack is the same as a classic heart attack, i.e., a blockage in the blood flow to the heart due to a blood clot. A silent heart attack carries the same risk as a classic heart attack that includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes, smoking, anxiety, depression, family history of heart disease, obesity, lack of exercise and increasing age. A silent heart attack is much more common and occurs in 45-50% cases of heart attack. Research is ongoing, but studies suggest that women have a greater propensity for silent heart attack as compared to classic heart attack for which men are at a greater risk.

Take The Ehac Oath With Us

We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together.

I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if happens to me or anyone I know I will call 9-1-1 or activate Emergency Medical Services.

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How To Manage Silent Heart Attacks

Silent heart attack can be managed by identifying the risk factors such a high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, smoking, family history, diabetes, and lack of exercise. The risk factors can be evaluated and treated to prevent a second heart attack, as after a silent heart attack a person becomes at a greater risk of developing another heart attack.

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Describe Chest Pain To Your Doctor

How to tell a heart attack from indigestion?

Doctors use several pieces of information to determine who is, and who isn’t, having a heart attack. In addition to the description of your symptoms and your heart risk profile, doctors use the results of an electrocardiogram and a blood test called cardiac troponin. But sometimes these don’t immediately show abnormalities. So, what you describe to the doctor and your medical history are extremely important in determining the initial steps in your treatment.

Here are some things your doctors will want to know about what you are experiencing:

  • What is it that you are feeling ?

  • Where is the discomfort?

  • Has it gotten worse or stayed the same?

  • Is the feeling constant, or does it come and go?

  • Have you felt it before?

  • What were you doing before these feelings started?

Clear answers to these questions go a long way toward nailing down a diagnosis. A few seconds of recurrent stabbing pain is less likely to be a heart attack , while pain centered in the chest that spreads out to the left arm or jaw is more likely to be one.

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How To Recognize A Heart Attack

This article was medically reviewed by Carmen W. Landrau, MD. Dr. Landrau is a board certified Cardiologist at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Texas and a public speaker on heart health. She completed her fellowship in Cardiology at the University of Texas Medical Center in Houston in 2009. Her work has been featured by the American Heart Association, St. Jude Medical, and Univision.There are 34 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 95% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 203,753 times.

Breaking Out In A Cold Sweat

Another common symptom is finding yourself breaking out in a cold sweat. The reason behind this symptom is that when you have clogged arteries, your heart requires more effort to pump blood, and sweating keeps your bodys temperature down during this extra effort.

For women, this means night sweats may not just be the result of menopause. They might also be a sign of heart problems.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to consult your physician. Dont wait until it becomes urgent.

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What To Do When Youre Having A Heart Attack

  • Chew one adult-strength aspirin to help keep your blood from clotting.
  • Stay on the phone with the emergency operator as you wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself to the hospital.

If youre not sure its a heart attack, dont ignore your symptoms. Call for help anyway. If you are having a heart attack, the sooner you get to the hospital, the sooner your care team can work to restore blood flow and reduce further heart damage.

How Do I Know If Im Having A Heart Attack

How to tell the difference between a heart attack and a ...

Your arteries carry blood, oxygen and nutrients to the heart and to the rest of the body. A heart attack occurs when an artery of the heart is suddenly closed or blocked by a blood clot.

Although the closure happens suddenly, it often results from plaque that has built up in the arteries over time. This process is called atherosclerosis. It is also known as hardening of the arteries. When the artery closes, the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart drops suddenly and sharply. This lack of oxygen causes damage to the heart.

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Types Of Heart Attacks

The scientific term for a heart attack is myocardial infarction or MI for short. There are different kinds of heart attacks, and the severity, diagnosis and treatment for each may be different.

What all heart attacks have in common is that something is preventing oxygen-containing, nutrient-rich blood from getting to the heart muscle. The amount of damage to the heart will depend on the type of heart attack, the severity of blockage and the time it took to get treated.

Heres what you need to know about the types of heart attacks:

Causes Of A Silent Heart Attack In Women

A silent heart attack happens when the flow of blood is blocked in the coronary arteries by a build up of plaque. Studies differ, but some suggest that silent heart attacks are more common in women than in men.

Ekery points out that women and their physicians may also be more likely to chalk up symptoms of a silent heart attack to anxiety and dismiss them.

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Warning Signs Of Heart Failure

By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have more than one of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, report them to a healthcare professional and ask for an evaluation of your heart. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure which requires seeking timely medical attention, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.

If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, it’s important for you to manage and keep track of symptoms and report any sudden changes to your healthcare team.

This table lists the most common signs and symptoms, explains why they occur and describes how to recognize them.

Next Steps & Resources:

How to Tell the Difference Between Panic Attacks and Heart Attacks

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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