Can You Spot a Heart Attack?

Each year, tens of thousands of people in the Unites States suffer a heart attack. In fact, heart disease is the leading killer in the United States and around the world.

To protect yourself and those you love, it’s important that you recognize the telltale signs of a heart attack. Not everyone experiences heart attack in the same way, but some symptoms are often consistent.

Here are some to consider:005485-iStock_000005623222XSmall

· Fullness, squeezing, or uncomfortable pressure in the chest

· Chest pain that disappears and then returns

· Pain that spreads from the chest to the back, abdomen, shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw

· Feeling faint or light-headed

· Shortness of breath

· Sweating or cold sweats

· Nausea or indigestion

· Rapid heart rate

· Nervousness and anxiety

· Extreme fatigue

Keep in mind that many of these symptoms can present themselves in a gradual way. It is not very common for heart attacks to be sudden and dramatic, like what you might see on TV or in movies.

If you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, especially in combination, dial 9-1-1 and be sure to get medical assistance right away. When it comes to your health, it is always best to err on the side of caution.

When you receive care from an EMS worker or in the ER, your doctor will use several strategies to determine if you have had a heart attack. In addition to performing a physical exam and taking a medical history, your physician or EMS technician will likely order an electrocardiogram (EKG), which records your heart’s electrical activity. You may also need blood tests, which detect if certain enzymes are present at high levels in your bloodstream.

At Denton Regional Medical Center, we offer comprehensive cardiovascular care. If you have a cardiac issue, we can treat you with a wide range of options, including catheter procedures, “off-pump” open heart operations, pacemakers, angioplasty, and medications. We are also highly skilled in treating STEMI, a deadly form of heart attack. Our door-to-balloon time consistently beats the national average.

To learn more about recognizing and treating a heart attack, contact our Heart Center. In addition to treating your condition, our nurses and support staff are happy to speak with local groups about heart disease prevention. For more information, call 940-384-3211.

For a free download of heart attack signs and symptoms, click here.


Denton Regional Medical Center

American Heart Association


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