Why Is It Important to Recognize Heart Attack Symptoms?

Heart attacks can present themselves in surprising ways. They don’t just affect older men and they aren’t always indicated by crushing chest pain or pressure. A heart attack can affect virtually anyone, including young adults in their 20s. But there is one thing that all heart attack patients have in common: They all require emergency medical intervention. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our heart care team encourages our neighbors to become aware of the signs and symptoms of heart attacks. Getting to our heart hospital quickly via an ambulance can not only save lives, but may also reduce the risk of post-heart attack complications.

Heart Failure
A heart attack occurs when blood supply to the heart is disrupted, such as when a blood clot blocks a coronary artery. The longer the heart is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, the more damage it can sustain. Damage to the heart tissue can impair the organ’s ability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. This condition is known as heart failure. Some heart attack patients suffer temporary heart failure, while others develop chronic heart failure.

Heart Arrhythmia
The damage inflicted on the heart muscle can lead to other complications besides heart failure. Damaged heart tissue can disrupt the electrical signals that the heart relies on to contract and pump blood. This causes an arrhythmia, which is a heart rate that is too fast, too slow, or irregular. An arrhythmia can be minor or life-threatening. It may cause symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

Heart Rupture
Heart rupture is a serious complication that may affect a relatively small number of heart attack patients. A heart rupture may occur in cases of significant damage to the heart muscle. It generally develops within one to five days of the cardiac event. This condition, which involves the rupturing of the heart muscles, walls, or valves, can be fatal.

The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is a leading provider of cardiac care for the Inland Empire. Our heart hospital is proud to serve our Riverside community by providing access to the latest medical innovations and advanced interventions. Direct all medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher; non-emergent questions may be directed to a registered nurse at our heart hospital by calling (951) 788-3463.

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