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Recognizing These Heart Attack Symptoms Could Save Your Life

Knowing heart attack symptoms when you see them, or should I say feel them, could keep you from having a heart attack.

I'm Gene Millen, your guide and the owner of this website. As I often say, "Having a heart attack isn't as much fun as you might think." The good news is that you can avoid the traumatic and life changing event of having a heart attack.

Since my "brush with death", followed by open heart surgery 20 years ago, I have worked with hundreds of people as owner of the Vital Life Health and Wellness Center and most recently as Fitness Director of a retirement community in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley of California.

The most common heart attack symptoms are a feeling of squeezing, pressure, fullness or pain in the center of your chest which lasts more than a few minutes.

It may also include jaw pain, dizziness, nausea, "heart burn" or " indigestion," and fatigue. The pain may go away and come back or spread through your neck, jaw, shoulders, arms or back.

Sweating, nausea, light-headedness, shortness or breath. In women, chest pain may be mild and other symptoms may be more vague and occur at rest rather than exercise. Click here for women heart attack symptoms.

Plan ahead
Drugs called thrombolytics, when given within 6 hours, may help stop a heart attack and minimize lasting heart damage.

Decide now on the closest medical center that offers 24-hour emergency cardiac care.

Keep local emergency numbers and the hospital phone number posted near your phone and tell family members what to do and where to call.

Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Learn it if you have a family member who's at risk for a heart attack, and encourage family members to learn it if you're at risk.

Contact the American Red Cross or local community centers or fire stations to find CPR courses in your area.

ACT QUICKLY!
Fast action is your best weapon against a heart attack. Why? Because clot-busting drugs and other artery-opening treatments can stop a heart attack in its tracks.

They can prevent or limit damage to the heart?but they need to be given immediately after symptoms begin. The sooner they are started, the more good they will do?and the greater the chances are for survival and a full recovery.

To be most effective, they need to be given ideally within 1 hour of the start of heart attack symptoms.
If you're having heart attack symptoms call 911 and tell the operator you think you may be having a heart attack.

Don't call your doctor's office and wait for a call back or just "tough it out".
The risk is too great and life is short enough as it is.

Chew an adult aspirin or crush and drink it dissolved in water for faster absorption. Aspirin may help restore some blood flow through clogged arteries.

Lie down. It's almost always best to wait for the ambulance rather than having someone drive you to the hospital (don't drive yourself).

Gene
 

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