Heart 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.
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
- Feeling of fullness
- Shortness of breath
- Back pain
- Pain that travels down one or both arms
- Jaw pain
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