Love is in the air in February, which means it’s the perfect time to think about your heart health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, more than 800,000 Americans suffer heart attacks each year. For these reasons and more, February is designated as American Heart Month, an annual observance focused on raising awareness about heart disease and prevention. This month, we want to help you take the necessary steps to ensure optimum heart health.
Make Necessary Lifestyle Changes.
Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, proper nutrition, exercise and regular treatment for health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes can reduce the risk of heart disease and its associated complications.
Know the Signs.
The CDC estimates that someone in the United States has a heart attack every forty seconds. Knowing the signs and acting immediately can help save a life. Early signs of a heart attack can be mild, come and go and may become intense over time. Symptoms can include:
- Chest pressure
- Pain and numbness in the left arm or chest
- Feeling of fullness
- Pain traveling down one or both arms
- Jaw pain
- Excessive fatigue or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pressure, squeezing, aching or burning
Understand the Differences.
It’s important to recognize that heart attack symptoms can be different for men and women. Men normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of the chest, but in women, these symptoms may appear on the right side. Women may also feel completely exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous and may experience upper back pain that travels to the jaw. In some cases, women may discount stomach pain as the flu, heartburn or an ulcer.
Know What to Do.
Most heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. Seek help immediately if you are exhibiting heart attack symptoms and act quickly if someone around you collapses or displays warning signs. Three immediate actions can make the difference between life and death due to a heart attack:
- Call 9-1-1
- Perform Hands-Only CPR
- Find and deploy an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
With our highly trained team of nurses and board-certified cardiologists, state-of-the-art technologies and gold-standard procedures at Williamson Medical Cardiology Center, we’re able to quickly diagnose and treat heart attack patients, offering interventional cardiology and a cardiac catheterization lab on site.
Most recently, Williamson Medical Center was recognized for Medical Excellence in Heart Attack Treatment by CareChex® — an information service of Quantros, Inc., listed in the top ten percent of hospitals in the nation, region and state for Heart Attack Treatment and first in the market for Interventional Carotid Care.
We’re passionate about helping you live your healthiest life. Understanding the simple changes you can make and being aware of heart attack symptoms and actions to take in the event of a heart attack can save a life—including your own!
For more information about cardiac services at Williamson Medical Center, please visit williamsonmedicalcenter.org.
Williamson Medical Center has been a pillar of our region for over sixty years, with an impressive tradition and commitment to not only providing exceptional healthcare services to hundreds of thousands of patients, but also an overall dedication to the wellbeing of our community. For more information please visit: williamsonmedicalcenter.org