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  • Am I Having A Heart Attack?

  • First Signs may include...

    • chest pain or pressure that lasts for more than a few minutes.
    • pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.
    • jaw pain or toothache.
    • lightheadedness, nausea, sweating or shortness of breath.

    "Not all of these signs occur in every attack. They may disappear and come back. If they return, call 911 immediately," advises Charles Pattavina, MD, director of emergency medicine and head of the Emergency Heart Center at The Miriam Hospital. "The important thing is to act fast. Don't wait."

    Women and heart attacks

    Heart attack signs in women can be harder to detect. In addition to the typical symptoms mentioned above, some women may experience any of the following symptoms:

    • cold, sweaty skin
    • unexplained anxiety or nervousness
    • weakness or overwhelming fatigue
    • swelling in the lower legs or ankles

    Because women tend to view heart attack as a man's illness and don't consider themselves to be at risk, many women minimize their symptoms and place themselves at greater risk by delaying treatment. For these reasons, more women die from heart attacks than men do.

    Contact the Women's Cardiac Center at The Miriam Hospital for more information.

    Take charge of your health

    • If you visit the emergency room and suspect you're having a heart attack, ask the physician to perform an EKG or blood enzyme test to confirm his or her diagnosis.
    • Know what cardiac risk factors you may have and which ones you can work to change.


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