There’s a big chance that someone in your life has, or will be, affected by heart disease. Since it’s the number one cause of death in the U.S., taking over 600,000 lives yearly, take a minute to familiarize yourself with heart disease in case of an emergency.
What is heart disease?
When people think of heart disease, they often think of a heart attack, and that’s with sound reasoning. While heart disease is an overarching term for numerous infirmities afflicting the heart and blood vessels, the most general example is coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attacks. Coronary artery disease is when the heart’s primary blood vessels become thick and small due to an accumulation of plaque. When blood flow, which brings essential oxygen to the heart, is reduced, a heart attack can transpire. Other types of heart disease include stroke, heart valve problems, and arrhythmia.
What are the signs of a heart attack?
The American Heart Association states while some heart attacks are unexpected and intense, they usually start gradually with moderate pain and distress. It may feel like rising tension or pressing, and it can disappear for several minutes then repeat. Chest pain is the most common sign of a heart attack along with other symptoms as well. Someone having a heart attack could also feel:
- Discomfort in their stomach, neck, jaw, back, or arms
- Shortened breaths or lightheadedness
- Cold sweats
- Nausea or vomiting
Women are more likely to experience non-chest pain symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you think you or someone else could be suffering a heart attack, contact 911 directly. Every second counts!
If you need assistance for someone who has experienced a heart attack or needs care contact The Orchard. We know every individual has unique needs and our professionals dedicate themselves to providing excellent care for you or your loved one. Contact us to learn The Orchard Difference.