Healthwatch

When you think of someone having a heart attack you probably think of having chest pains, right? Well, doctors say it can be more than just that.

"It can be just shortness of breath or they may notice a change in how difficult it is for them to get up and walk to the bathroom. That kind of thing," says Emergency Room Director, Dr. Jim Cadyfrom Rush Hospital.

So, what should you do if you think you are having a heart attack?

Interestingly enough, doctors say a little bitty aspirin can save your life. In fact, if you think you're having a heart attack they advise you to take an aspirin even before going to the hospital. They say this can prevent blood clots, which can be deadly.

Here's something else that you might not know, Dr. Cady says a heart attack does not necessarily mean heart failure. Instead, he says heart failure usually occurs from the extensive loss of heart muscle, something that can be prevented somewhat by getting medical attention as soon as possible.

"God gives you some muscle that can be lost to prevent you from having symptoms, but you reach a certain muscle where the less muscle you have the more you are going to have symptoms."

As for people who want to wait before seeking medical attention.

"You see many people," says Dr. Cady "who say, Well, it's not my heart; it's just indigestion or it's just something I ate,’ and those are the people that have the most trouble!"

Read all previous WTOK Healthwatch articles here.


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