For Booster Shot, this month’s topic is heart attacks.
“When we say you’re having a heart attack,” said Brenda Neckels, Divisional Director of the Center for Heart Disease at Medical Center Hospital, “that means your heart is dying, and the longer amount of time you have that pain, the more tissue dies.”
Heart attacks are caused by a lack of blood flow to the heart, usually by a blockage of plague or an artery spasm.
Signs of heart attacks are different for males and females.
Neckels explained, “The classic man presentation is crushing chest pain, radiating down the arm, maybe up to the jaw, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. And some people have jaw pain without chest pain.”
Women say they feel tired, bloated, and experience abdominal discomfort.
“And a big thing that people will tell you,” Neckels continued, “is if they have a sense of what we call foreboding. So initially, if you’re just having pressure in your chest, you sit down and rest. If it goes away and doesn’t come back, it could have been nothing. If you have a bad feeling about it, and it doesn’t go away, or it comes back when you get back up, then you need to go to a doctor.”
Risk factors for heart attacks include tobacco use, diabetes, high blood pressure, high testosterone, a sedentary lifestyle, and a family history of heart disease.
“So you need to eat less junk, move more, and don’t ever, ever, ever use tobacco products,” Neckels instructed.
Support for Booster Shot is provided by Medical Center Hospital, the only Level 2 Trauma Center in the Permian Basin. More information at 432-640-6000 or mch odessa (dot) com. Medical Center Health System, “Your One Source for Health.”