Medical Insight: Heart Attack Symptoms – Essentia Health

Medical Insight: Heart Attack Symptoms – Essentia Health

August 14, 2019 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


[MUSIC PLAYING] TRACY BRIGGS: When you picture
someone having a heart attack, the image that
might come to mind is someone clasping their
chest in severe pain. But the fact is, heart
attacks make themselves known through more than
just a sharp, stabbing pain to your chest. Matthew Massman is a
physician’s assistant in the emergency department
at Essentia Health St. Mary’s in Detroit Lakes. He sees patients
complaining of all kinds of symptoms which, in
the end, could turn out to be heart attacks. In addition to chest pain,
heart attack sufferers often complain of shortness of
breath, nausea and vomiting, sweating, radiating pain
throughout the body, upper abdominal discomfort,
and unexplained weakness. These symptoms might
not be a heart attack, but could be gas pain or
even more serious blood clots in the lungs or pneumonia. However, Massman says it never
hurts to get it checked out. MATTHEW MASSMAN: You,
know that’s what we do. We make sure that
there’s not a problem. And like I tell
many of my patients, I would much rather
tell you, I don’t think that this is a
serious problem than say, I wish I would have seen
you four hours sooner. TRACY BRIGGS: Coming
in early is key when you consider
what’s actually happening with a heart attack. During a heart attack,
an artery becomes blocked, literally starving the
organ of much needed oxygen. MATTHEW MASSMAN:
If you’re having damage your heart in the
case of a heart attack, time is your heart. And so the longer you go
without oxygen to your heart, the longer the risk
of complications are. TRACY BRIGGS: Massman says one
of the most important warning signs that you might be having
a heart attack is something he calls exertional chest pain. Your chest hurts while
you’re doing something, like mowing the lawn,
shoveling the sidewalk, or even walking
on the treadmill. He says even if it starts to
feel better after a while, it’s still important
to come in and be seen. With this Essentia
Health Medical Insight, I’m Tracy Briggs.