I’m Having Heart Symptoms. What Do I Do?
You’ve educated yourself on the signs and symptoms of heart attack in women. You are experiencing signs and symptoms. Now what do you do?
CALL 911. Tell the dispatcher you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a heart attack. An ambulance will be sent to transport you to the closest hospital with emergency cardiac care facilities. DO NOT drive yourself or ask a friend or neighbor to drive you to the hospital. Aside from the ability to treat and resuscitate should your condition worsen, professional emergency personnel know the proper facilities to take patients. The closest hospital may have no capability of caring for acute coronary problems and being taken there only causes further life threatening delays while transfer to the right place is arranged. The extra 15 minutes in the ambulance to a more distant hospital could save hours of waiting for proper care.
Chew and swallow with water one regular full-strength aspirin as soon as possible. The aspirin will prevent further blood clotting.
Be your own health advocate. Insist that the hospital staff takes your complaint seriously, does not make you wait, and gives you a thorough cardiac evaluation including an electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiogram and a blood test to check your cardiac enzyme levels.
DO NOT DELAY – TIME IS HEART MUSCLE. The earlier you receive treatment, the better the likelihood that damage to your heart muscle will be kept to a minimum.