Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why Women Hesitate To Call 911 During a Heart Attack

Women too often hesitate to call 911 during a heart attack. This could be for any number of reasons, such as not believing they are really having a heart attack or just not wanting to raise a false alarm. Women must remember to never take a wait and see approach to a heart attack. The longer you wait the more damage a heart attack can cause. Take your symptoms seriously, because they are.

A recent CNN report states that women make other, often critical, mistakes that delay their treatment in these situations. Some women will downplay these symptoms, while others will self-diagnose themselves as having heartburn or other minor health issues.
These delays and mis-judgements can cost you your life. Don’t wait around for symptoms to worsen. Just call 911.

When emergency personnel arrive, clearly and completely describe your symptoms. For example, if your chest pain feels like someone just parked a car on your chest—tell them that exactly. If you have a unusual nausea or shortness of breath, tell them how unusual it is. If you have a family history of heart disease or if you have a history of heart attacks in your family, tell your paramedics about this as well.

All of this information is vital. By giving the paramedics a complete history of your symptoms, they can prepare emergency physicians and other medical personnel to provide you with the best treatment possible. This can save your heart and your life.

To Your Continued Health and Success!

Julia Gray, Licensed Practical Nurse

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Heart Disease is the number one killer of American women. Statistics show that it accounts for nearly one-third of all female deaths. That is six times as many deaths as is caused from breast cancer. Wake up ladies!

In 2004, in the state of South Carolina alone more than 144,00 women suffered from heart disease. In local communities more than 500-600 women a year are sent to hospitals with some form of heart disease.

Still we find that many women do not recognize heart attack symptoms. Many others simply delay calling for assistance (either because they don’t understand or they are just plain afraid); this puts their health and their lives in jeopardy.

As women, we need to know our unique heart attack symptoms. Please understand these can be quite different from a man’s. IF YOU EVEN THINK THAT YOU MAY BE HAVING A HEART ATTACK ~~ CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY, WITHOUT DELAY! Even if it is a false alarm, when your life is at stack this is the least of your worries.

Point to Remember ~ When thinking of heart attack symptoms, you may think of someone gripping their chest in pain or gasping for breath. You would be right - some of the time.

While chest discomfort may be the leading cause of heart attack in both men and women, in women it can feel a lot different than we would even expect.

Very often a woman’s heart attack feels like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. It usually starts in the center of the chest, lasting for sometimes no more than a few minutes.

During a heart attack other areas of your upper body may experience discomfort as well. You could have pain in your arms, back, neck, lower jaw, or stomach. This may be accompanied by shortness of breath or other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.

While chest discomfort may be the primary symptom, studies show that almost a third of all women experience no chest pain at all. Instead they experience shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain or pain in the lower jaw.

Of course these symptoms will vary from woman to woman; pain can come and go, it can either be mild or severe. The thing to know is that it is an unusual~ pain, different than one you have felt before. When this is the case call 911 or your local paramedics immediately.


To Your Continued Health and Success
Julia Gray, Licensed Practical Nurse

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