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Heart Attack

Heart Attack Signs, Symptoms, and Care for Covington and Northshore Residents

Time is of the essence when you are experiencing heart attack symptoms. The American Heart Association recommends treatment within 90 minutes for the best rate of survival. Lakeview Hospital is dedicated to providing acute care quickly and efficiently. Through cardiac fast-tracked emergency services within our emergency room, patients who show signs of a heart attack are placed with the center’s heart team upon arrival. These specialized doctors work with established emergency room staff to get patients the treatment they need in a timely fashion.

Watch here to learn more about symptoms of a heart attack.

What Causes a Heart Attack?

Coronary arteries are prone to narrowing over time. This occurs from buildup of a variety of substances, most notably cholesterol. This plaque takes up space and impedes the flow of blood, leading to coronary artery disease, the most common cause of heart attacks.

When pieces of the blockage break off or rupture, a heart attack can occur. During this time, blood clots are apt to form around the rupture causing a complete blockage of the artery. When blood flow to the heart is cut or gravely diminished, the organ is unable to function correctly.

Heart attacks can also be the result of a spasm within the coronary artery, which immediately shuts down blood flow. The use of illicit drugs as well as prolonged use of tobacco can lead to such a spasm. If you are concerned about the health of your heart, or feel that lifestyle choices might hold you at risk of a heart attack, we encourage you to complete our online health risk assessment. This is a quick, free assessment that provides a personalized report outlining your risk factors and providing suggested next steps for your health care.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

A heart attack presents itself differently for each patient. It is best to always err on the side of caution with a visit to the emergency room if you experience any common heart attack symptoms including:

  • Pressure or tightness in your chest
  • Squeezing or vice-like pain that radiates down your arm, or spreads into your jaw, neck, or back
  • Heartburn or indigestion with nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue or cold sweats
  • Extreme dizziness or lightheadedness with a sudden onset

Since risk factors such as smoking, obesity, uncontrolled stress or diabetes, physical inactivity, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and a family history of heart attack are compounding, it is imperative that high-risk patients quickly consult with a cardiologist at the onset of symptoms. Call 911 or visit the emergency room immediately if you feel you might be experiencing a heart attack, or are caring for someone you suspect is suffering from an acute heart attack.

Click here to schedule an appointment with one of our Heart & Vascular Care providers.