Tag Archives: heart attack

Knowledge Of Heart Attack And Stroke Symptoms Can Help Save Lives

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often, people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

Chest discomfort — Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts 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 one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath — this can occur with or without chest discomfort.
Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter. Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 911.

Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get life-saving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff also are trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room.

If you can’t access emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the hospital right away. If you’re the one having symptoms, don’t drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.

Stroke warning signs
If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t delay calling for help:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Immediately call 911 or the EMS number so an ambulance — ideally with advanced life support — can be sent for you. Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. It’s very important to take immediate action.

If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogenactivator (tPA) can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. The drug is the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of stroke within three hours of stroke symptom onset.

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

AHA Profile: Nabil Dib

Nabil Dib, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.C.C.
Director of Cardiovascular Research
Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers

As with most of life’s troubles, the problem starts small. A tiny bit of fatty material settles in on the walls of a major artery. Over several years, more and more of this plaque collects, until there is little to no room left for blood to flow freely. Without the blood and the life-giving oxygen it brings, the heart seizes — and the muscle begins to die.

This scenario is the leading cause of death for both women and men. Approximately 1.2 million heart attacks occur in the U.S. every year, and more than 12 million people in the nation are suffering from some form of heart disease.

Efforts to reduce the occurrence of heart attacks through prevention are vital and remain our first priority. Clinical trials are currently underway at two Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) hospitals to determine whether adult stem cells can effectively improve cardiac health.

Using highly accurate 3D images of the heart, Dr. Nabil Dib and his team of interventional cardiologists at Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers are delivering adult stem cells directly into damaged heart tissue via a catheter. The goal of their series of clinical trial, is to determine if the adult stem cells will develop into new blood vessels that will prevent further damage to the heart.

Other treatments being conducted at the hospitals’ Cardiovascular Research Center are testing whether adult stem cells can re-convert scar tissue into live muscle, and whether specific genetic indicators can detect the early stages of heart disease.

“We’re researching whether these new treatments might help those who have exhausted all other options,” Dib says. “The aim of studies such as this is to see if adult stem cells will assist with cardiac regeneration and help repair damaged heart tissue. Cardiac regeneration is about trying to see if you can repair damaged heart tissue and hopefully provide people with a better quality of life.”

By integrating compassionate care with state-of-the-art technology and leading-edge clinical research, CHW is providing innovative treatments to those in need, and advancing the science of care worldwide.

www.chwhealth.org

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

AHA Profile: Peter Harper

Peter Harper
Vice President and Treasurer
Scottsdale Insurance Co.

As the American Heart Association’s board of directors chairman, Peter Harper brings nearly 25 years of finance leadership experience to the role of vice president and treasurer of Scottsdale Insurance Co.

Scottsdale Insurance is one of the largest excess and surplus, and specialty lines carriers in the nation, with more than 1,400 employees and annual premiums in excess of $2 billion.

Prior to his current role, Harper served as treasurer and chief financial officer of Suntron Corporation. Additionally, he has held senior leadership positions with Iomega Corporation and General Electric.

Harper uses his leadership skills to rally employees at Scottsdale Insurance when it comes to workplace wellness, and understands the benefits associated with a healthy work force.

“Heart disease costs U.S. businesses $24 billion a year in lost productivity. Through wellness programs, companies are able to attract exceptional employees, while enhancing productivity and morale at the same time,” Harper says.

In addition, recent studies have shown that for every dollar spent on health and wellness, companies can save between $3 and $15. Harper says those savings are almost immediately seen within 12 to 18 months of implementing a program.

Harper also spearheads efforts to get employees involved with the American Heart Association’s Start! Heart Walk each year. Scottsdale Insurance has sponsored the Lifestyle Change Award for the past three years.

“I am passionate about physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, which aligns with our Lifestyle Change Award sponsorship,” he says. “If we take the initiative to proactively reduce our risk of heart disease — including establishing a physical fitness regimen and adopting a healthier diet — not only will we improve the odds of not incurring life-threatening heart attacks or strokes, but we will be able to enjoy a happier, longer life with our family and friends who care most about us.”

www.scottsdaleins.com

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010