520 North Third Ave Sandpoint, ID 83864

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Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Knowing what to look for, how to react, and ways to determine if you’re in cardiac trouble.

Don’t wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Although some heart attacks are sudden and intense, most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body — and call 911 if you feel:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the chest center lasting more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath occurring with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Act Fast! Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait – call 911 or your emergency response number.

Call 911. Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive. EMS staff are trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped.

Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu, or normal aging.

There are still many women who are shocked that they could be having a heart attack.

In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. When the arteries supplying the heart with blood slowly narrow, this can severely reduce or completely cut off oxygen to the heart muscle. This narrowing is caused by a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances (plaque).

Bonner General Health offers multiple screenings and services for heart conditions. Even if your cardiologist isn’t located in Sandpoint, you can still have screenings and services at Bonner General Health. The Diagnostic Imaging department offers echocardiography and myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), a non-invasive test that allows your physician to see if you have a heart condition without surgery. Bonner General Health tailors the stress test to each patient’s physical capabilities. It can be administered in three ways; with the patient walking on a treadmill, walking on the treadmill and using a medication, or using the medicine only with no treadmill.

Our Cardiopulmonary department provides both diagnostic as well as therapeutic services to people with heart disorders. These services, also known as “Respiratory Therapy,” are available on an inpatient or outpatient basis by our Nationally Board of Respiratory Care certified Therapists. Some of those services include an electrocardiogram (EKG), Exercise Stress Testing, Holter Cardiac Monitoring (48 Hour), and Multi-Day Monitoring and Evaluation.

For more information on the cardiac screenings and services provided by Bonner General Health, go to BonnerGeneral.org.

Portions of this information were obtained from the American Heart Association.

This article was written for publication in Sandpoint Living Local Magazine – March 2021.


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