Many of us exchange heart-shaped items around this time in honor of Valentine’s Day, but did you know that February is officially American Heart Month? According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases take approximately 2300 American lives each day. The government has designated this month for increased awareness of the risks of heart attack, stroke and related heart diseases. Let’s take this opportunity to review the warning signs of possible heart attack or stroke.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Heart attacks often don’t happen with a sudden blast of pain and a collapse like we see in the movies. Many times the symptoms are far subtler. They include:
Women often experience heart attacks differently than men, and these may be more difficult to detect. Some women have even mistaken heart attack symptoms for acid reflux or the flu. Women in particular should watch for:
Stroke Warning Signs
Similar to a heart attack, a stroke is effectively a “brain attack”—a situation in which blood flow to the brain is cut off or restricted (ischemic stroke) or when brain begins bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). Early warning signs of a stroke include any/all of the following:
The Stroke Association uses the acronym FAST to remind people how to take immediate action with signs of a stroke:
F- Face drooping
A- Arm weakness
S – Slurred speech
T- Time to call 911
Both heart attack and stroke share many of the same risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, etc. However, even people who seem otherwise healthy may suffer heart attack or stroke, if you see someone experiencing any of the symptoms —get medical help immediately. Every second counts! Quick action may save a life.
If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one due to improper medical response to heart attack or stroke, our Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help. Call our offices for more information.Tagged heart disease, PatientSafety, Public Health