Acute Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States. Each year heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer, lung disease, diabetes, accidents and AIDS combined. Of all women under age 65 who die from heart disease, 35% are under the age of 55. People who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack. Smokers are 2 to 6 times more likely to have a heart attack than non-smokers. People with excess body fat are more likely to develop heart disease, even if they have no other risk factors.
Signs of a Heart Attack:
- Chest discomfort, pressure, or pain
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (shoulder blades, neck or jaw)
- Shortness of breath with OR without chest tightness
- Nausea (upset stomach)
- Left arm discomfort or pain
What to do:
- Take one adult strength aspirin (325 mg)
- If your doctor has given you nitroglycerin: place one tablet under your tongue as soon as you feel discomfort-make sure you are sitting or lying down when you take nitroglycerin. You may repeat in 5 minutes if no relief. If no relief after the second nitroglycerin, repeat again for a total of three (3) nitroglycerin tablets.
- If symptoms stop, call your doctor.
- If symptoms continue after nitroglycerine, call 911 or your local ambulance; or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.
- Some heart attacks are sudden and severe, but most start slowly with mild pain or discomfort! So take it seriously!