When you see an actor portray a heart attack on television, he will often grab his chest, wince in pain, and collapse to the floor. While this scenario may happen to some people, the reality is that heart attacks are much more mysterious than you would expect. Symptoms vary from person to person, and even if you’ve already had a heart attack, a subsequent attack could have different symptoms from the first one.
The National Institutes of Health says that only about one-third of heart attack patients experience the classic symptom of chest pain. To protect yourself and your loved ones, take note of these unexpected signs that could point to a heart attack:
- Pain in the jaw, neck, or abdomen. Although pain in these areas can be caused by other conditions, the American Heart Association says this can be a telltale sign that a heart attack is happening.
- Shortness of breath, with or without pain. This is a common symptom in both men and women who experience an attack.
- For women: nausea or vomiting, lightheadedness, and sweating. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often blamed on other causes, such as the flu. But these are telltale signs of a heart attack when they cannot be attributed to other obvious causes.
- Fatigue. Feeling unusually tired for no apparent reason, sometimes for days, is an indicator of a heart attack, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Getting treatment quickly
When you’re having a heart attack, every minute counts. The sooner you get emergency treatment, the better your chances for a full recovery. Irreversible damage to the heart begins within 30 minutes of the onset of the attack. With the Code Heart program at CarePoint Health, patients who are experiencing a heart attack are immediately rushed to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. This ensures the obstructed coronary arteries can be unblocked as quickly as possible.
Cardiovascular Care at CarePoint Health
The Cardiovascular Departments at Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital, and Hoboken University Medical Center offer comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for a wide range of heart conditions. Having an expert cardiologist on your side can help you manage your heart health before emergencies occur, giving you the best chance to lead a happy, healthy life.
CarePoint Health offers state-of-the-art cardiovascular services, and is dedicated to helping patients prevent, manage, and overcome cardiovascular disease. To learn more about our cardiovascular care services, contact CarePoint Health at 1-877-791-7000 or request an appointment online at our website.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.