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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women And Why The First Few Hours After A Heart Attack Are Crucial

Updated on July 11, 2012

Many of you may not be aware that the heart attack symptoms in women are very much different from those in men. In general, women may be experiencing these symptoms much before the actual attacks. In some women, these symptoms may begin even one month prior to the attacks. These symptoms may be completely new and some of them are disturbances in sleep, unusual fatigue, indigestion, weakness in the arms and shortness of breath.


Chest pains are not common among women. Most of the women do not experience pains or any other discomforts. This makes the jobs of the doctors difficult because only if they know the symptoms, they can take the required steps to prevent heart attacks. But, the frequency of occurrence of the symptoms and their severity may be able to guide the doctors for giving the right treatment at the right time. So, doctors should not commit the mistake of missing the earliest symptoms. It is necessary that women should learn about the seriousness of these symptoms and discuss them clearly with their doctors.


Experts have concluded that unusual fatigue is one of the major symptoms. Next comes disturbances in sleep. Other symptoms are shortness of breath, unusual indigestion and bouts of anxiety. If the doctors do not treat these symptoms on time, it may result in heart attacks. The main symptoms during the attack are shortness of breath, cold sweat and dizziness. Ironically, ethnic and racial differences play a big role in the occurrence of heart attacks in women.


Whatever may be the gender of the patient, every one of us should learn how to survive this challenging health problem. The first few hours after the heart attack are very important and the patients should be at the hospital as soon as possible. Doctors should begin the treatment at the earliest and the patients should be under the observation of the doctors during those first few hours.


It is a known fact that a heart attack, that is also known as Myocardial Infarction or MI, is the severest form of coronary problems. The main cause for this problem is the rupture of the plaque formed in the coronary artery. The rupture causes a clot that blocks the flow of the blood in the artery. The particular portion of the heart muscle that usually gets blood through the artery that has been blocked begins the process of dying. This death is what we call as a heart attack or Myocardial Infarction.


The severity of the heart attack depends upon the stage at which the process of death of the heart muscle is. This again is dependent upon in which coronary artery the blockage has occurred and also the spot of the blockage. The simple rule is that if the blockage occurs near the origin of the artery, a large portion of the heart muscle is likely to die but if it is farther, there will be less damage. If the damage is very high, chances of heart failure are more during the heart attack. In some people, damage may be less severe but not too insignificant to ignore. In such people, heart failure may occur at a later date. So, doctors should identify the artery in which blockage has occurred and the spot of the damage so that they can begin the appropriate treatment. But, the unfortunate truth is that heart failure and death may occur during a heart attack or even after the patient has completely recovered from a heart attack.


When there is an acute heart attack, there are risks of heart failures in the first few hours. That is the reason for suggesting that the patient should be under the observation of a doctor during those hours so that the doctor can give the required treatment on time. Timely treatment improves the chances of survival.


The extent to which the heart muscle of the patient has died determines the consequences of a heart attack. If the patient gets a proper treatment on time, the doctors can succeed in opening the blockage in the affected artery. So, the extent of the death of the heart muscle gets reduced. The general rule is that the patient should get treatment within the first three or four hours after the heart attack. A delay of five or six hours may damage the heart muscle more severely. Irreversible damage may occur if the delay is more than 12 hours. That is the main reason for suggesting repeatedly that the few hours after the heart attack are very crucial.

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