Heart disease is when the arteries of the heart have a build up of plaque from high cholesterol or fat that blocks the flow of blood to the heart. A heart attack is when there is a blockage in the coronary artery(ies). Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans.
About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men. CDC statistics.
The symptoms of a heart attack are typically:
Pain in the chest, the left arm, jaw, in between the shoulder blades, and or upper abdominal area
Dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, clammy skin, cold sweat, or sweating
Heartburn, indigestion, nausea, or vomiting
Shortness of breath, excess sweating, clammy skin
The 2 main arteries of the heart are the right coronary artery and the left coronary artery.
If you have these symptoms call 911! Do not drive to the hospital! An ambulance can start treatment immediately and if you drive yourself to the hospital you could get stuck in traffic. You will get treatment much faster and your chance of survival is much better.
Typical treatments are:
Defibrillation is using an electrical shock to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. The picture above is an AED (Automated External defibrillator) device. The cost is usually about 1700 dollars. They are typically in airports, grocery stores, gyms. These can used by anybody- it has a device that talks to you automatically every step. Every minute that the patient is not being treated decreases the percentage of survival 7 to 8%.