Heart Attack Facts

Your Heart Health

Nearly 50% of patients suffering from a heart attack wait two or more hours before coming to the hospital. This delay reduces the amount of heart muscle that can be salvaged with treatment, raises the amount of disability and increases the risk for death.

Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, is the interruption of oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart muscle.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack listed below dial 911 immediately! If you have these symptoms, and they regularly stop and return please call one of our family medicine doctors and ask for an immediate appointment or come to the St. Dominic's emergency department for treatment.

The "classic" signs of a heart attack experienced by men are as follows:

  • Chest discomfort described as pressure, tightness or squeezing that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Chest pain that radiates to neck, jaw or the left arm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Unusual chest, stomach or abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue

More women die from heart attack than men because the symptoms experienced by women can differ greatly from the classic signs of heart attack experienced by men.

Women can experience the classic signs of a heart attack, but be aware of these other symptoms:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Upper abdominal or gas like pain
  • Nausea (with or without vomiting)
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of impending doom

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Almost 700,000 people die each year from this disease. On an annual basis in Mississippi, more people die from heart disease than from all types of cancer, traffic injuries, suicides and AIDS combined!

At St. Dominic's we want you to be aware of all the risk factors that can cause a heart attack. Our Healthy Heart Advantage program can assist you.