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Mid Coast Center for Community Health & Wellness Newsletter
February 2021
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February is American Heart Month

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month. During this month, Mid Coast Hospital encourages you to learn more about how you can maintain good heart health all year long.

Approximately 87% of all heart issues can be prevented. There are many simple ways you can decrease your risks, including talking to your doctor about heart disease, knowing your family history, and adapting modest changes to diet and lifestyle.

According the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women, with reports that heart attacks are on the rise among younger women. A study conducted by the AHA suggested that younger generations of women are less likely to be aware this threat, including knowing the warning signs of heart attacks.

It is important that all individuals recognize the warning signs of a heart attack. Most heart attacks begin slowly, with the first symptoms being mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body, and call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know experiences:

  • Chest Discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest, which lasts for several minutes or that goes away and comes back. The pain can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in Other Areas of the Upper Body: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of Breath: This symptom can occur with or without chest discomfort.

Additionally, the person may experience cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. For a full list of warning signs of heart attacks or stroke, please visit the American Heart Association’s website: https://www.heart.org/en/about-us-shared/heart-attack-and-stroke-symptoms

If not treated, heart attacks can quickly lead to cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is the loss of heart function which can happen suddenly and lead to death. When someone is in cardiac arrest, they may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Sudden Loss of Responsiveness: The person shows no response to tapping on their shoulders.
  • Abnormal Breathing: The person does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.
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