World Heart Day: What is a Heart Attack?

By September 28, 2017Health Basics

World Heart Day - Five Star ER

Heart health is at the heart of all health. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, killing 17.5 million people a year. That’s a third of all deaths on the planet and half of all non-communicable-disease-related deaths!

Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. During a heart attack, the oxygen supply that powers the heart muscles is reduced or cut off completely. This can lead to heart muscle damage and even death if not treated immediately.

According to the American Heart Association, someone in the United States suffers from a heart attack every 43 seconds, and 88 percent of heart attacks happen at home. Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack and acting quickly could save your life, or the life of a loved one.

Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms

  • Chest pain or discomfort. This can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes this pain can radiate down your arm, into your back, up to your neck or jaw, or into your stomach. This pain can last for a few minutes and then come back, or may not go away.
  • Shortness of breath. This can happen with or without chest pain.
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness, and sometimes fainting.

These symptoms can differ in men and women and by age. Women are more likely to experience more than just one symptom, such as chest pain in addition to shortness of breath. A heart attack generally causes chest pain for more than 15 minutes, but it can also have no symptoms at all. It’s important to be aware that symptoms other than chest pain may occur, such as indigestion or neck or jaw pain that is persisting despite the use of medications.

What to Do in an Emergency

  1. Call 911Don’t ignore or attempt to tough-out the symptoms of a heart attack for more than five minutes. See emergency medical attention immediately. If you cannot call 911 for emergency medical help, have a neighbor or a friend drive you to the nearest hospital.
  1. Begin CPRIf you are with a person who is unconscious and you think he/she might be having a heart attack, begin hands-only CPR until help arrives.
  1. Use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) If AvailableIf an AED is available, attach the device and follow instructions that will be provided by the AED after it has evaluated the person’s condition.

Emergencies happen. And when they do, you need the best care — FAST. That’s why when you visit Five Star ER we will take care of you from the moment you arrive with speed, compassion and quality care. Click here to find the Five Star ER location nearest you.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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