Not all heart attacks begin with sudden chest pain. Saint Francis Medical Center is participating in the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care’s Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) initiative, which encourages recognition of other early heart attack symptoms. Components of the initiative include:
Education: Everyone should know early warning signs of a heart attack, which include anxiety, shortness of breath, nausea, jaw pain, chest pain, feeling of fullness, back pain and fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to call 911 immediately.
Responsibility: Look for symptoms not only in yourself, but in others to ensure they identify a heart attack right away.
Early treatment: Time is muscle, because most of the damage to the heart occurs within the 30-60 minutes following a heart attack. Rapid treatment gives you a better chance of recovery.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women, but you can limit damage by acting quickly,” says Duc T. Nguyen, DO, interventional cardiologist at Saint Francis. “Be sure to not only learn the symptoms of a heart attack for yourself, but share your knowledge with those around you.”