One of the important ways that you can prevent dying from a heart attack is to recognize the warning signs. Often these signs are written off as being from muscle strains or indigestion, especially if you go to the gym or have eaten a big meal. But don't ignore the signs because the faster you get medical help, the better your chances of surviving or preventing major heart muscle damage. The American Heart Association is an excellent website for information on heart attacks.
A heart attack generally occurs when blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely restricted or cut off. Some of the signs are:
- Discomfort in your chest (i.e. pressure or squeezing)
- Pain or tingling in the arms, back, neck and jaw
- Shortness of breath
- High blood pressure
- Peripheral Vascular Disease (PAD)
- Family history
At the hospital certain tests can be performed to determine whether you are having a heart attack and what the cause is.
- EKG measures the electrical signals in the heart
- Echocardiogram of the heart to see if all the chambers are working
- Cardiac Cath used to determine whether you have clogged arteries
- Certain blood tests
If you have clogged arteries, a stent procedure can be done to open up those arteries to restore blood blow to the heart. Stents are commonly done in the hospital and if done timely, can save your life. If you are aware of the signs and symptoms, you will be more educated about heart attacks when you go to the emergency room. Unfortunately, we have represented families where the hospital failed to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and let the patient go home–with tragic results. If you or a loved believe there was a failure to diagnose and treat a heart attack, please call us at 1-800-299-HURT or email us at [email protected]. Or you can fill out the contact form on this page or on any of the contact forms on our website.