Prof. Kobi Shaham explains what are the signs of a heart attack that should concern you and when it is important to get to the emergency room quickly (Wala system!)
While it is well known (or so we hope) that problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and little physical activity are risk factors for a heart attack, many people may not know the early signs to know if a heart attack could be on their way.
Knowing these signs may be a life saver, since heart disease is the number 1 killer of men and women in the world and doctors have even seen an increase in mortality from heart disease during and after the corona epidemic, which emphasizes the importance of awareness and knowledge of the existing risks.
Here are 4 red flags that should wake you up:
Not just chest pain.
A man has a heart attack (Photo: ShutterStock)
1. Chest pain or pressure
The classic pain attributed to a heart attack is a pressing pain - the person feels a load or a weight pressing in the center of his chest or on the left side, and this pain can radiate to the left hand.
But that's not all, as mentioned.
Angina pectoris, which is intermittent pain in the chest caused by the gradual build-up of plaque in the arteries, can be a warning sign that a heart attack or cardiac event may occur in the following days, contraction or spasm of the arteries on the outside of the heart can also lead to this symptom .
If you notice any discomfort in the chest - angina can also appear in other forms besides pain - it is important to call the doctor.
2. Neck, shoulder or jaw pain
We usually associate heart attacks with immediate pain in the left arm.
However, early signs of pain may not be so obvious.
In women, for example, compared to men, the symptoms are less typical and can include pain in the upper abdomen, back pain, pain radiating to the jaws, a feeling of shortness of breath, and more.
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3. Shortness of breath and fatigue after exertion
As mentioned, shortness of breath may be a red flag.
This can include feeling more agitated than usual after performing a simple task, such as installing a new light fixture or climbing stairs.
In others it can include discomfort in the arm or chest even after extreme exertion.
4. Nausea or other stomach problems
Abdominal pain, nausea and general fatigue are also potential warning signs of a heart attack.
But it doesn't happen to everyone.
Some patients may have similar mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
So when should you worry?
In any case that a person experiences chest pain or unusual discomfort, which is not normally felt, and certainly if it is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and it does not go away - one should seek help.
As soon as this lasts for more than a few minutes and does not go away (5-10 minute time frame), if it lasts longer than that and does not go away or intensifies, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
In the event that a person experiences such an unusual or alarming event, the recommendation is to call an ambulance first.