Did you know the number one killer of women in this country is heart disease? Yep, ahead of the pink ribbon is the red dress, as in Go Red For Women. Two stories this past week were good reminders to shine the spotlight on women and heart disease.
First, the news came out that Rosie O’Donnell had a heart attack, the kind of heart attack that is called “the widow maker.” It’s called the widow maker because this type of blockage in the heart generally causes sudden death. Thankfully in Rosie’s case, she was was treated in time.
Second, Jim Joyce, an umpire for the Major League, performed CPR on Janie Powers, an Arizona Diamondbacks worker, after she suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest. He had not done CPR for many years, yet remembered to perform the chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees “Staying Alive” song. As a result, Janie is alive today with a brand new pacemaker installed in her heart.
I’ll be honest, the risks of heart disease freak me out a bit. “We” women tend to forge ahead and blow off symptoms that our body is telling us. I love this video from the Go Red For Women campaign starring Elizabeth Banks. It’s short and well worth the time. When I watched it, I could think of five friends whose lives mirror this character.
Check out all of the links in this blog and keep that tune “Staying Alive” in the back of your head to help save someone’s life. Fuel up and let’s stay alive!
Signs of a Heart Attack from the American Heart Association:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1…Get to a hospital right away.