The Elephant sitting on the chest is the “classic” presentation of a heart attack (i.e., a myocardial infarction) that we are all familiar with. Approximately 1.5 million people experience a myocardial infarction/heart attack each year in the United States – but the symptoms can vary based on gender. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, many women have heart attacks, but never experience significant chest pressure as a symptom.
Any cardiologist or emergency medicine physician can tell you that “Time is Tissue” when it comes to the new onset of acute chest pain and heart tissue. The longer that cardiac tissue goes without appropriate nutrients and oxygen, the more likely it is to develop into a permanent myocardial infarction (i.e., death of heart tissue). Delay in treatment with medication and/or stenting should be avoided, making knowledge of cardiac symptoms an important part. This is especially true for women, who have symptoms that present differently than men (as a cohort), so immediate notification of a healthcare provider can be a lifesaver – literally. It would be wise for women experiencing any of the following symptoms, including, back, neck, or jaw pain, shortness of breath – with or without chest discomfort, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, or back pain to reach out to a health care provider or emergency department for help immediately.
A Michigan native who graduated from both Michigan State University and Cooley Law School, Mr. Weidenfeller has limited his practice of law to representing individuals who have been permanently injured and families who have lost a loved one as the result of medical errors for more than 20 years. In that time, he has been featured on the cover of Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly and has spoken to many and varied professional groups about trial practice and effective communication.