When it comes to heart disease or heart attacks, minutes could be the difference between life and death.
Most people are familiar with the TV version of a heart attack, with a man clutching his chest, and would not ignore that specific symptom.
Also keep in mind that heart disease is also the leading killer of women, and women have very different presentation than men.
In general, the most commonly ignored symptoms of heart disease are:
- Neck/jaw/back pain
- Generalized weakness
If you are concerned for yourself or your spouse, call 911, do not drive to the ER yourself. The EMT technicians have many resources, such as defibrillators, that can be deployed in route. Of course every year we hear the story of the patient who crashed his or her car while having a heart attack and driving to the ED.