L09 — February 2011 — Heart Attack Timing
Intro: Crushing chest pain. That's what most people think will happen if they have a heart attack. But that's not always the case. And because other symptoms can be very subtle, some people don't get to the hospital in time. Doctors at Mayo Clinic want to make sure you know the signs and symptoms of heart attack, so if you have one you can get treatment fast.
When it comes to heart attack, time is muscle.
That means if you're having a blockage to your heart that's causing decreased blood flow to part of the heart muscle, we've got to get you into the hospital quickly. Calling 911 is the best way to do that.
Chest pain coordinator Michele Markum says the faster you get blocked arteries open, the less damage there's going to be to your heart. But the problem is, many people don't recognize the signs and symptoms and don't get to the hospital soon enough. You see most people think of heart attacks as causing crushing chest pain. Yes, chest pain is a main symptom, but there are many other, more subtle signs, too.
Shortness of breath, intense sweating, pain that radiates to your jaw, down either arm or your back, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. The feeling that something's not quite right.
"I felt not right."
Jim Couch had two heart attacks. He had chest pain the first time. The second one was different.
I didn't have the pain. It was just, I just couldn't get my breath.
But his wife called 911. An ambulance took Jim to the hospital where doctors performed angioplasty to open his blocked artery fast. Well within the new national guidelines of 90 minutes from arrival at the hospital to time of treatment.
I've restored several old volkswagons.
Jim's heart muscle recovered. And since he beat the clock and got prompt treatment, he's got the time and is heart healthy enough to work on his cars.
For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
In addition to recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, it's also important to know your risk factors and to try to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.
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