Even with today’s readily-available information and medical advances in urban areas such as in North Dallas, there can still be confusion surrounding heart attacks and chest pain. Heart attack symptoms don’t always play fair—some can be intermittent, or come and go, and some can be long-lasting. Symptoms are different for different people and sometimes their lack of severity doesn’t accurately reflect what’s going on with the cardiovascular system.
With all of these variables, it is important to learn as much about heart attacks as possible so you can recognize the symptoms when they occur in you or in someone you love.
Here are 3 things you need to know about heart attacks:
- Everyone’s different
Mack said he felt like a concrete block was on his chest, Sandy said she thought it was a bad case of heartburn and Travis said he thought he’d slept on his arm wrong because it ached so much. All of these people had myocardial infarctions—or heart attacks—but their presenting symptoms were diverse.
“There are several things that can go wrong with the cardiovascular system. Depending on the cause and location, people can experience different kinds of symptoms,” said Advance ER physician Dr. Joseph Meier. “It’s a good rule of thumb to listen to your body and if something feels wrong, come to Advance ER and let us examine you. You can simply stop by for an EKG—it’s only a few minutes and it can potentially save your life.”
- It might not be a crushing chest pain
According to Dr. Meier, chest pain can vary in a number of ways. “It might not even be what you would consider pain,” said Dr. Meier. “It might be an ache in your chest, squeezing, full feeling or even just a pressure.”
Other symptoms could include pain in one or both arms, back, stomach, jaw or neck. Experiencing nausea, cold sweat or shortness of breath could also be an indicator that the heart is having problems.
- It may be easy to ignore
Since some people experience symptoms that come and go, and since some symptoms can be quite mild, it may be easy to ignore the warning signs that your body is sending. “Again, you will likely know when something’s not right,” said Dr. Meier. “So listen to your body and if you have any doubts, let us check you out.”
Minutes count during a heart attack. Having a freestanding emergency room like Advance ER in a neighborhood near you can make all the difference in your chances for a good recovery.
Be prepared for any emergency.
Our board-certified physicians are available 24/7 every day of the year with the support team, EKG, imaging equipment and labs needed to help in the event of a heart attack. When you need us the most, Advance ER is here for you.
Meet Dr. Meier:
Dr. Joseph Meier is board-certified in emergency medicine and he received his medical degree, with honors, from Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN.
He completed his emergency medicine residency at UC Davis, Sacramento, CA, where he pioneered ultrasound protocols and chest pain protocols. Dr. Meier has experience in diagnosing and treating a variety of chronic, acute and sudden-onset conditions.