The conversations of life

Would you know the signs of a heart attack?


We all know the classic warning sign is chest pain – but what about the more subtle symptoms?

This week (29 April – 6 May) is National Heart Week 2018 so we’ve been brushing up.

It turns out not everyone suffers chest pain. Some people also report pain in the neck, jaw, back or shoulders, a choking feeling in the throat or a heavy feeling in the arms.

Other lesser-known symptoms include suddenly feeling short of breath, feeling nauseated, breaking out in a cold sweat, experiencing dizziness or light-headedness and even vomiting and gastrointestinal symptoms.

You might have just one of these symptoms too or a combination. The Heart Foundation also warns they can vary in their severity or suddenness – so you may not suddenly be gripped by chest pains like in the movies.

If you experience any of these warning signs for 10 minutes, or if they are severe or get steadily worse, call triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

Worryingly, women are more likely to think that these warning signs don’t have anything to do with their heart.

But with one Australian suffering a heart attack every 10 minutes, nearly half of them women, knowing what to look out for – and taking action – could save your life.

Find more information about heart attack symptoms here.

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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