Forget Flowers and Chocolate! Why You Should Focus on Your Heart Today
Valentine’s Day is notorious for being full of love, flowers and chocolate, but candy hearts are temporary. Your heart needs to stick around 365 days out of the year, which is why in the event of a heart related emergency, it is important to remember that fast action and precise communication can play a significant role.
In honor of National Heart Month here are some tips on keeping your heart healthy and averting tragedy. Did you know that heart and blood vessel disease is the nation’s number one killer? According to the American Heart Association (AHA) roughly 325,000 people die annually of coronary attack before they even get to a hospital or emergency room (ER). For the best outcome, familiarize yourself with the warning signs of heart attacks, seek immediate medical attention should any occur, and create a Smart911 Safety Profile for fast, enhanced response during all 9-1-1 emergencies.
You may be surprised to know that not all heart attacks feel like the sharp sting of getting struck by cupid’s arrow. Most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. As a result, people often aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Because minutes count when it comes to heart attacks, learn the following warning signs:
- Chest Discomfort: A sensation in the center of the chest that feels like pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain. This can last more than a few minutes, or, go away and then return.
- Upper Body Discomfort: Pain or discomfort in the back, neck, jaw, stomach, or in one or both arms.
- Shortness of Breath: This may or may not be accompanied by chest discomfort.
- Additional Signs: Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
The most common heart attack symptom in both men and woman is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Now, if you experience any of these symptoms, the AHA urges you not to wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 to ensure rapid treatment. Similar to finding your true love, timing is everything! If you call 9-1-1imemdiately, emergency medical services (EMS) staff can assist on arrival, typically an hour faster than if someone is driven by car to an ER. Plus, EMS is trained to revive a heart that has stopped, and patients that arrive at a hospital in an ambulance typically receive faster treatment.
Think you’re just suffering from heartache? Doctors sometimes misdiagnose broken hearts as heart attacks. A broken heart is a real syndrome! It is caused by an emotionally stressful event such as the death of a loved one, breakup, betrayal or romantic rejection. Not to worry. Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable, but should be checked out immediately by a physician.
Every year tens of thousands of people across the U.S. not only survive heart attacks, they return to work and enjoy a normal life. The key to making sure you can fully recover from a heart attack is acting fast and creating a Smart911 Safety Profile so response teams will know exactly who you are, where you are and how to treat you if you need help. Fill your heart with love today, but fill your brain with these helpful heart safety tips!