February 3, 2012

Maury Regional offers tips on how to recognize a heart attack

COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. February is American Heart Month and Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) is taking this opportunity to share tips on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

“Heart disease is often associated with men; however, it is the leading cause of death for both men and women,” said Cathy Malone, administrative director of cardiovascular services. “The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can often lead to a heart attack. During Heart Month, we encourage everyone to learn the signs of a heart attack and what to do if you experience any of these symptoms.”

The signs and symptoms of a heart attack may vary by individual and by gender. Commonly they include:

  • Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back, which can feel like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain
  • Discomfort in other parts of the upper body, one or both arms, neck, jaw, upper back or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness

“If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately call 911. Emergency personnel are highly trained, can begin treatment in the ambulance and will contact the emergency department so that physicians are ready and waiting for a patient once they arrive. A quick response can prevent permanent heart damage and, more importantly, could save your life,” said Malone.

MRMC has been recognized as one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals and is an accredited Level III chest pain center. MRMC’s Healthy Hearts Education Group offers free quarterly programs to promote self-care and management of heart disease.

“I encourage everyone with heart disease to take advantage of our Healthy Hearts program,” said Malone. “For more information you can call 931.381.1111, extension 4343.”