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March 15, 2007 - 9:36 am

So it’s best a href=”http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=8917419″not to have a heart attack /aon the weekend, lest you be unable to get to a cath lab within 90 minutes (h/t: a href=”http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/03/if-youre-not-getting-enough-althouse.html”Ann Althouse/a, a href=”http://instapundit.com/archives2/003349.php”guestblogging at Instapundit/a). I am glad that some hospitals like the one that is quoted in the article are concerned about treating patients quickly, but they still seem a href=”http://www.medhelp.org/general/silent.htm”to miss the point/a that just as important as getting people quickly into treatment is recognizing that they are having a heart attack in the first place:br /br /blockquoteThe largest ones are equipped. Massachusetts General Hospital has one of Boston’s busiest emergency rooms. On one afternoon this week, all the chairs were filled with patients waiting to be seen.br /br /But cardiologist Jim Januzzi says there is no wait for a patient who comes in with chest pain. Doctors and nurses leap into action to see whether that patient is having a heart attack./blockquotebr /br /But guess what? Up to a href=”http://www.medhelp.org/general/silent.htm”one in four heart attacks/a, especially in women, (but they also happen in men) are silent heart attacks that cause damage and even death, but the symptoms are atypical–no chest pain involved–and unbelievably, many doctors and hospital staff do not look for heart problems if there is no chest pain present. There are symptoms of a silent heart attack; these include, shortness of breath, heartburn that worsens with exertion, nausea, fainting, profuse sweating, and feelings of overwhelming doom. br /br /So, a few things to remember to protect your heart health–know which hospitals in your area have a cath lab open on the weekends or have your heart attack during the week and remember that chest pain is not the only indicator of a heart attack. I never had chest pain with my heart attack and this baffled doctors for ages. Take your health into your own hands and if you are having symptoms other than chest pain and feel that it might be heart-related, speak up and demand that the docs treat the symptoms seriously and immediately. Waiting too late like I did could end in disability, heart damage or death.

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