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Heart Disease

Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States? Eighty-five percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. Early heart attack care (EHAC) is knowing the subtle danger signs of a heart attack and acting upon them immediately, before damage occurs.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack happens when blood can't reach part of the heart due to plaque buildup or a blood clot. The heart muscle beyond the blockage is starved for oxygen and begins to die.

These artery blockages may be temporary, partial or complete and depending on the degree of damage, your heart may not beat normally and may not pump as well as before your heart attack.

Common signs and symptoms:

  • Tightness or squeezing discomfort behind your breastbone
  • Heaviness in the chest or chest pressure
  • Discomfort or pain in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or upper back
  • A burning feeling under your breastbone (indegestion type)
  • Unusual shortness of breath or feeling very tired
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Associated nausea or sweatiness

Acute coronary syndrome

Acute coronary syndrome refers to a set of conditions caused by decreased blood flow to the heart muscle. Usually this causes angina or discomfort felt when the heart is not getting the oxygen rich blood it needs to meet your heart's demands.

Angina occurs most often because the heart arteries become narrowed due to fatty deposits or cholesterol plaque. Angina often occurs at times of exertion, during exercise or when you are under stress. 

Angina usually goes away with rest or nitroglycerin. If you experience angina at rest or equivalent symptoms that do not go away, seek immediate treatment. You may be experiencing early warning signs of a heart attack.

Call to schedule your appointment

Work with your primary care provider or call us today to schedule an appointment. Call 406-238-2000 or toll-free 1-800-332-7156 today to speak with a member of our heart staff.

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