February is American Heart Month
February 14, 2013
By Dorinda Ware
February is American Heart Month, and unfortunately, most of us know someone who has had heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. These conditions are also leading causes of disability preventing people from working and enjoying family activities.
Cardiovascular disease is also very expensive--together heart disease and stroke hospitalizations in 2010 cost the nation more than $444 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity. However, we can fight back against heart disease and stroke. CDC and other parts of the US government have launched Million Hearts", to prevent the nation's leading killers and empowering everyone to make heart-healthy choices.
Heart attack symptoms typically follow a classic pattern. The list below includes several common signs and symptoms of heart attacks. The victim does not need to have every item on the list in order to be having a heart attack, but if two or more of the items are present then it is important to call 911 immediately.
Readers who've experienced a heart attack before know those classic symptoms don't always happen -- or they don't always feel the way we expect them to. Heart attacks in women look very different than heart attacks in men.
The classic symptoms are:
•Pressure, heaviness or tightness in the chest
•Pain or pressure in the neck or jaw
•Pain or pressure in one or both arms (especially the left)
•Shortness of breath
•Pain or throbbing between the shoulder blades
If You Suspect You're Having a Heart Attack: If you suspect a heart attack, do not make an appointment to see the doctor. A private physician will probably not have the tools necessary to treat a heart attack. Instead, call 911 immediately! If you have chest pain, always go to the ER or call 911.
While waiting for the ambulance: Sit down and rest. The more exercise or stress you put on the heart, the more damage the heart attack will do. Sit and rest ut on the heart, the more damage the heart attack will do. Sit and rest until the ambulance arrives.
•Have someone gather your medications. If there is someone with you, have them gather your medications or an updated list. It's a good idea to have personal medical information available at all times for the ambulance crew.