Posted on: February 4, 2013
Heart Aware: Do you know the signs of a heart attack?
By Dr. Robert Pilchik, Chief of Cardiology, Northern Westchester Hospital
A heart attack is easy to recognize, right? Not always. People tend to expect a heart attack to be painful, but often it’s a feeling of pressure or tightness in the chest. And for women, the chest pressure or tightness may be missing altogether, which is why it’s so important to be aware of all the signs of a heart attack.
Chest pressure or tightness is just one symptom, and it can radiate out to the arms, neck, or jaw—typically on the left side of the body. Other potential signals that you’re having a heart attack include profuse sweating, shortness of breath, numbness or weakness in your limbs, lightheadedness, and a fluttery sensation in your chest. For women, all the symptoms are the same, except that chest pressure is much less common than it is in men. Fatigue seems to be the primary symptom in women. Any tiredness that comes out of the blue and feels extreme, that’s an indication of a possible heart attack.