Story by: Lynne Choate on February 7, 2017
This article is part of a series on the signs and symptoms of a heart attack in women. Several Norton Heart Care providers have come together to raise awareness and provide tips just for women. Because signs of heart attack can be different for women than men, it’s important to know what to look for and what to do to save your life or the life of someone close to you.
You probably already know that the most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain. Often described as an elephant sitting on your chest or someone tying a rope around your chest, the pain can be intense and knock you to your knees in some instances. However, research on women reveals that sometimes the pain is less intense and can be ignored or written off as something else or breast pain.
“Women may try to brush chest pain or discomfort off as breast pain instead,” said Theresa Byrd, R.N., patient educator with Norton Women’s Heart & Vascular Center. “What women need to know is that breast pain does occur, but there are few key differences to keep in mind.”
Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists treat more cardiovascular patients — about 100,000 every year — than any provider in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Don’t ignore heart attack or stroke symptoms: Louisville-area emergency rooms are prepared
If you think you or someone near you is having a heart attack, don’t wait to see if symptoms go away, and don’t try to drive yourself to the hospital. Always call 911 immediately. EMS can begin lifesaving treatment en route to the closest hospital.
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