Importance of Knowing the Signs & Symptoms of Heart Attack & Stroke Thursday, February 10, 2005 |
DOVER-FOXCROFT - Heart disease is America's #1 killer. Stroke is #3 and a leading cause of serious disability. That's why, during American Heart Month in February, the Piscataquis Public Health Council and Mayo's HEARTWISE thinks it is so important to reduce your risk factors, know the warning signs, and know how to respond quickly if warning signs occur.
Most Common Preventable Risk Factors
- High cholesterol level
- High blood pressure level
- Lack of Exercise
- Being overweight
- Poor Nutrition
Heart Attack Warning Signs – Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often individuals affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Below are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
- Chest Discomfort – Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that
lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like
uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body – Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in
one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath – May occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs might include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Stroke Warning Signs
Dial 9-1-1 Fast
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Heart attack and stroke are life-and-death emergencies – every second counts. If you see or have any of the signs listed above, immediately call 9-1-1. Not all these signs occur in every heart attack or stroke. Sometimes they go away and return. If some occur, get help fast! Many of the medications and treatments available today for heart attack and stroke victims can stop some heart attacks and strokes in progress, reducing disability and saving lives. But these medications and treatments must be given quickly to be effective. Don't Delay – Get Help