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A Look at the Progression of Heart Attack Symptoms

Most people picture a heart attack as something that comes on suddenly and causes crippling chest pain that makes you instantly double over. In reality, most heart attacks don’t occur out of the blue but actually have a slow, steady progression of symptoms that may develop before any chest pain is present. Here are some of the early indicators that you may need cardiac care.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a significant indicator of a heart attack, especially in women. Many heart attack survivors describe feeling unusually tired and worn down in the days leading up to their heart attacks. If you experience overwhelming fatigue without a clear explanation, be on the lookout for any other cardiac symptoms. Although fatigue is associated with a long list of health complaints, knowing that it is also an indicator of a heart attack could help you get the emergency care you need early to minimize damage to your heart muscle.

Mild Pain

Mild pain can be the first sign of a heart attack, but it doesn’t always happen in the chest. Some people instead experience pain in the shoulders, jaw, neck, and upper back. The pain may come and go and be just bad enough to be noticeable. Pay attention if this kind of pain persists, especially if it gets worse. You should also consider it in the context of your other symptoms. Some people do not experience any chest pain during a heart attack, so don’t wait for the pain to migrate to that region before you get emergency care.

Shortness of Breath

During a heart attack, shortness of breath may be the only symptom you experience. You may notice increased breathlessness during physical activities, or it may happen when you are at rest. It may also occur days before your heart attack. Sudden shortness of breath should never be ignored, so seek emergency care for a diagnosis.

In the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital, we work quickly to diagnose heart attacks and provide lifesaving cardiac care in San Jose for the best patient outcomes. Don’t second-guess your symptoms and risk your health. Visit our ER for care, and call (888) 724-2362 for more information about our services.


Why Women Frequently Ignore Heart Attack Symptoms

Women suffer heart attacks as often as men, but they are more likely to die from them. Why does this discrepancy exist? The reason is that women are usually slower than men to seek cardiac care when they are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack. The delay in care leads to increased chances of complications and loss of life. If you are a woman who could be having heart attack symptoms, don’t let these reasons hold you back from getting the lifesaving cardiac care you need.

Underestimating the Risk

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, and they are just as likely to have heart attacks as men. Unfortunately, heart attacks have been looked at as a particular problem for men for too long. Many women, and even their doctors underestimate their chances of having a heart attack, and so they don’t recognize the significance of the symptoms when they occur. Even if they do associate the symptoms with a heart attack, they believe that it can’t happen to them, and so they ignore them.

Not Knowing the Symptoms

The symptoms women have during heart attacks can be different than those that men experience, so some women may not even know that their hearts are in trouble. Although chest pain is common for both women and men, women are more likely to experience fatigue and nausea during a heart attack. Because women may picture heart attacks as episodes of crushing chest pain, they may not think their symptoms mean that they need cardiac care.

Downplaying Symptoms

Many women juggle work and home responsibilities and put themselves last in their schedules. When having heart attack symptoms, women may postpone seeking help so that they don’t have to leave work or miss picking the kids up from school. By downplaying the urgency of their symptoms, women can put their lives on the line.

Heart attack symptoms always require emergency care, so visit the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose for fast diagnosis and treatment. You can find out more about all of our cardiac care services by calling (888) 724-2362.


Knowing What to Expect Under the Care of EMS Personnel

When you call 911 with a medical emergency, it is likely that you will be met by EMS personnel at your location. For emergent and critical conditions, it is not recommended that you attempt to drive yourself to the ER, because you will not receive the rapid intervention of EMS professionals, including emergency medical responders, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians. These individuals are trained to provide the first response in a medical emergency while working in cooperation with hospital staff in the ER to provide a complete continuum of care when it is needed most. Keep reading to learn more about how the system of EMS services ensures lifesaving care before you even arrive at the hospital.

Immediate response

EMS responders are the first to arrive on the scene of an emergency, and they will use their expertise to quickly assess the situation and understand the type of care needed. A 911 dispatcher might provide information about the emergency to EMS personnel, though more details might be needed from witnesses on the scene. In other cases, EMS professionals will be stationed at large public gatherings where injuries are likely, such as concerts or festivals.

Stabilizing care

Emergency medical responders and paramedics are trained in a variety of psychomotor skills that can stabilize a patient in critical condition. These skills include pharmacological intervention with the use of an auto-injector, bleeding control, manual stabilization of the cervical spine and extremities, and respiratory intervention to clear airways and restore breathing.

Emergency transportation

Most people will recognize EMS personnel as the individuals who operate emergency vehicles, including ambulances and medical helicopters. EMS professionals offer much more than a ride to the hospital, however, since they are responsible for stabilizing and safely transporting patients to improve outcomes in the ER.

The emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital is operating around-the-clock every day to provide San Jose residents with a higher level of care in critical situations. To learn more about our hospital services or get a physician referral for your non-emergency care, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 724-2362.


What to Do When Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a very serious condition that can arise quickly, especially in young adults who are unfamiliar with the effects of heavy drinking. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, you should recognize that this is a medical emergency that should be handled immediately. Common signs of alcohol poisoning include mental confusion, gasping for air, unconsciousness or unresponsiveness, vomiting, paleness, and hypothermia. If you notice any of these signs in another individual, follow these steps to ensure that the right care is received to avoid fatal consequences.

Call 911 or poison control

When a person with suspected alcohol poisoning is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or vomiting uncontrollably, you should call 911 right away. Alcohol will continue to be released into the bloodstream even after a person has stopped drinking, so you should not wait to see if the condition improves. If the individual is conscious and responsive, you may call a poison control center by dialing 1-800-222-1222. With the help of a poison control specialist, you can determine whether a trip to the hospital is necessary.

Do not leave the person unattended

You should never leave a person with alcohol poisoning alone whether he or she is awake or unconscious. Individuals who are vomiting are at risk for choking, and those who are unconscious will not simply sleep off alcohol poisoning. Blood alcohol levels can continue to climb to dangerous levels, which is why immediate medical attention is so important.

In the face of any medical emergency, you can count on Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose to provide exceptional care at all hours of the day. If you are not sure whether you are dealing with an emergency, you can speak directly to one of our nurses anytime, 24/7 at (888) 724-2362. When you visit our ER, you can expect low wait times with consistently high-quality care.


Stroke Awareness: Learning to Recognize the Signs of Stroke

When it comes to stroke treatment, time is a critical factor. For ischemic stroke, clot-busting medication will be the most effective method of treatment, but this medication can only be administered within a few hours of the onset of symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the signs of stroke and respond by seeking emergency care at the initial onset of these signs. Below, you can see the classic symptoms of stroke along with some not-so-common signs that might occur as well.

Classic stroke symptoms

The most iconic signs of stroke include numbness or weakness in one side of the face or body, sudden confusion, trouble walking, severe headache, and sudden blurriness in vision. A person suffering from a stroke may be unable to repeat simple sentences or answer basic questions. He or she may also be noticeably disoriented and have difficulty remaining balanced while walking or standing.

Hiccups

While it is not necessary to go to the ER every time you have hiccups, some stroke patients will experience hiccups in addition to the more common stroke symptoms above.

Chest pain

Chest pain is a symptom that should not ever be overlooked since it may be associated with stroke, heart attack, and a number of other serious condition. During a stroke, chest pain may be characterized as a heavy pressure in the chest or persistent, throbbing pain.

Fatigue

Women are more likely to experience a more subtle signs of stroke, such as sudden fatigue. Just like heart attacks, stroke is often underdiagnosed in women, and this typically leads to a higher rate of fatalities and disabilities.

If you suspect that someone is having a stroke, call 911 right away and ask to be taken to Good Samaritan Hospital. We are a Comprehensive Stroke Center, meaning that we are equipped with the skills and technology to treat both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke at all hours of the day. To learn more about our stroke care and other hospital services, give us a call at (888) 724-2362 and speak with one of our registered nurses.


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