How Much Do You Know About Heart Attacks?

By: Porter Regional Hospital Last Updated: February 26, 2014

Varicose-Veins-Are-they-seriousIf we lived our lives like a movie script, all heart attacks would be sudden and intense. There would be no doubt as to what was happening. However, that type of heart attack is more the exception than the rule.

Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort, and the symptoms may be easily dismissed or ignored. Although chest discomfort is the most common symptom, it is not always one. Read on to learn more about heart attacks.

Does Your Heart Stop Beating During a Heart Attack?

No. When you have a heart attack the blood supply to the heart tissue is blocked, which leads to tissue death. When an abnormal heart rhythm occurs, and your heart suddenly stops beating, it is called a cardiac arrest.

Do most heart attacks occur after a busy day or late in the evening?

No. Physicians call morning “the witching hour” for heart attacks. In the morning stress hormones, such as cortisol, peak and blood is thicker and hard to pump because the person is partially dehydrated. And, according to a study done at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, heart attacks that occur between 1 and 5 a.m. cause the most damage to the heart muscle. Getting to the emergency department for early treatment with clot-busting drugs and angioplasty can prevent or limit the damage. Fortunately, Porter’s cardiac cath lab is staffed around the clock so patients presenting with a heart attack can be treated any time of day.

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