Do you know how most heart attacks begin?

Trish EdwardsHeart attacks have to start somewhere. More than 50 percent of patients have early warning signs, which can be treated before any damage occurs. However, 50 percent of cardiac deaths occur outside of a hospital, which suggests many people are ignoring the signs.

Early Heart Attack Care

As the region’s only Certified Cardiovascular Care Coordinator by The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, I have made it my mission to teach early heart attack signs and symptoms at health fairs, ballgames, the mall – almost anywhere we can reach you. In fact, Baptist Health Paducah – the region’s first nationally-accredited chest pain center – “deputizes” people who know the symptoms, so they can share the information with others.

Our mission extends throughout the region as we work with hospitals in the region to improve cardiac care.

Did you know 85 percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack? It is important to know the subtle signs of a heart attack, so you can act immediately and prevent heart damage before it happens.

Early Symptoms

One early symptom of a heart attack may be mild chest pain, including pressure, burning, aching or tightness. These symptoms may come and go until finally becoming constant and severe. Not every person experiences the same symptoms. Some of the most common are:

  • Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Back pain
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 and don’t attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. Remember, “Survive, don’t drive!”

Local chest pain hotline: 1-800-575-1911

For help identifying signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, phone our Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline at 1-800-575-1911 to speak with a local registered nurse.

– Trish Edwards, Chest Pain Center Coordinator, Baptist Health Paducah

About Baptist Health Paducah

Baptist Health Paducah is a regional medical and referral center, serving about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,800 employees and 200 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. Since its humble beginning in 1953, Baptist Health Paducah has grown from 117 beds to 349 beds on a campus covering eight square blocks.
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