Every Minute Counts: 7 Heart Attack Warning Signs

heart attack preventionThe latest heart attack stats from the CDC are in, and they’re alarming: nearly 720,000 Americans have a heart attack each year, and 1 in every 4 deaths nationwide is a result of heart disease.

The American Heart Association stresses the importance of learning the warning signs of a heart attack, and acting quickly if a heart attack is suspected. Calling 911 within the first five minutes of symptoms can be life saving. Not all heart attacks present immediate, intense signs, but rather can start slowly with simply mild discomfort. Here are 7 signs that you, or a loved one, may be experiencing a heart attack:

1. Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks begin with discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. This can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

2. Shortness of breath: This can occur during a heart attack with or without chest discomfort. Heart attacks can also cause lightheadedness that seems  to come out of nowhere.

3. Rapid or irregular pulse: While there’s usually nothing worrisome about an occasional skipped heartbeat, when coupled with other symptoms on this list, a rapid or irregular pulse can be evidence of a heart attack.

4. Swelling: Heart failure can cause fluid to accumulate in the body. This can cause swelling in the legs, abdomen or around the eyes, as well as sudden weight gain.

5. Body discomfort: Besides chest discomfort, you may feel discomfort in the upper body, specifically one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

6. Sweating: Breaking out into a cold sweat while sitting in a chair or resting is a common symptom of heart attack. 

7. Anxiety: Many of the feelings associated with an anxiety attack are symptoms of a heart attack, too. Some people describe this experience as feeling as if they’re losing control.

Professional Caretakers is an active supporter of Go Red for Women and we are committed to staying on top of the latest developments in heart disease.

Professional Caretakers staff wearing red
Professional Caretakers staff wearing red on Feb. 6, 2015 in support of the American Heart Association.

Our specially trained caretakers improve the quality of life for those with heart disease by:

  • Ensuring that medications are taken regularly and monitored closely.
  • Preparing meals that comply with critical dietary restrictions of sodium, saturated fat and/or cholesterol.
  • Encouraging physical activity as recommended by a physician.
  • Monitoring and helping record symptoms.
  • Helping with bathing, grooming and personal care.
  • Providing light housekeeping.
  • Scheduling appointments and providing transportation.

Call us any time at 877-921-9500 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help care for your senior loved one.