Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just a little heart attack: supporting the Go Red for Women campaign

During her review of the initial management of acute coronary syndromes in my Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course this afternoon, Paula Miller shared with us the video posted below, produced by the American Heart Association as part of its Go Red for Women campaign.  The goal of Go Red for Women is to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease as the number one cause of death among women -- more deaths than all types of cancer combined. As part of the campaign, women are encouraged to understand their risk of cardiovascular disease and recognize the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, which often present differently in women than in men.

Although chest pain or pressure remains the most common symptom of heart attack, women are more likely to experience other symptoms, including:
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shoulder or jaw pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
The signs and symptoms of stroke are generally similar in men and women and include:
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Changes in speech
  • Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body
You can read more about the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke here.

Entitled "Just a Little Heart Attack", the video stars Elizabeth Banks as a multitasking mother of two who is busy juggling her career and household while virtually ignoring an ongoing heart attack -- a perfect illustration for why the Go Red for Women campaign is so important.  I found it well-done and entertaining and thought I would share:

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