by Josh Goldstein, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals
Would you recognize the signs if you, or someone you are with, were having a heart attack?
Each year some 715,000 Americans have heart attacks, including 525,000 first-time heart attacks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Immediate attention and faster care provides doctors with the ability to reopen blockages in the heart. This limits the damage and improves a patient's chances of surviving an attack. That's why knowing the signs is critically important.
The most common symptom of a heart attackis chest pain which can range from mild to severe. While the pain can be limited to the chest it can also radiate to your arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, stomach and/or your back.
"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," according to the CDC.
Other symptoms can include shortness of breath before – or accompanying – chest pain. You might break out in a cold sweat, feel nauseous, or experience light-headedness.
If you think you, or someone you are with, is having a heart attack call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.
The CDC notes that, "having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, having had a previous heart attack or stroke, or having diabetes can increase your chance of developing heart disease and having a heart attack."
The specialists at the Jefferson Heart Institute focus on personalized care that emphasizes prevention and the management of cardiovascular disorders using innovative noninvasive techniques.
For more tips and information on being heart healthy, visit www.Jefferson.edu/HeartHealth