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Heart & Vascular Care
Don’t play the waiting game. Take heart attack symptoms seriously.
Chances are you’ve heard this before: “I’m as serious as a heart attack.” People say it when they want you to pay close attention, which is exactly what you need to do if you have symptoms of a heart attack. A heart attack happens when blood flow to a section of heart muscle is abruptly blocked. If blood flow isn’t restored right away, the affected muscle begins to die. Acting quickly can prevent or limit damage to the muscle and save your life.
January 31, 2015, was no different than any other night for Gwen Hail. She came home from a sporting event with her daughter, walked the dog and went to bed. But then, she woke up around 11:30 p.m. with chest pain and feeling sick.
Husband Jason is a paramedic by profession and knew to call 911. Gwen was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Regional Medical Center. Test results showed a 100% blockage of her LAD artery … the “widow-maker” artery.
Quick intervention with coronary angioplasty and stent placement to open the artery proved life-saving for Gwen. She knows how fortunate she is to have RMC so close to home. She knows the outcome could have been much different.
Gwen recalls her amazing nurses, the ER staff and cardiac specialists who, without a doubt, saved her life. She was discharged just a few days later, on February 4, and returned to her job as a Home Health and Hospice Care Coordinator on March 16. She is eternally grateful for her husband and daughter as key players in her recovery. She knows that each day is a blessing … and that this community is blessed to have RMC right here.
Common Heart Attack Symptoms
Some of the most common signs of a heart attack are:
- Chest pain
- Upper-body discomfort: i.e., pain in your back, jaw, neck, shoulders, or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Additional symptoms include a cold sweat, unusual fatigue and nausea and vomiting.
If you have or suspect symptoms of a heart attack:
- Call 911. Don’t wait, hoping you’ll soon feel better.
- Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. The EMS team can start life-saving treatments right away.
Never wait and wonder
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, more than one million people in the U.S. have heart attacks every year. Many of them don’t make it to a hospital in time to get help.
Some people wait to act, perhaps because they’re embarrassed they might mistake indigestion for a heart attack. Don’t hesitate. Seek immediate emergency care and let a medical professional diagnose you.
For more information, contact the RMC Cardiac team at (256) 235-5224. We’ll help you schedule an appointment, or simply learn more about what you can expect, helping you on the road to recovery in no time.