THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Transcripts: 565.1 & 565.2

Week: 565.1 Guest: Dr. Sidney Smith, Cardiologist, Past President- American Heart Association Topic: Indications of a heart problem (part one of two) Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Heart attack's biggest warning sign...coming up....

SPOT: 15 years in the prevention of heart disease, stroke and trauma. The National Emergency Medicine Association. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Dr. Sidney Smith, cardiologist and past president of the American Heart Association, talks with us this week on knowing the biggest sign of potential heart attack...

SMITH: ....and that is early angina... or chest pain that might come before heart attack....several weeks before. It would be a chest pressure....it's not so much a sharp, stabbing pain....many patients say, "it's like an elephant standing on my chest". It's a pressure...a compression ... they'll use a clenched fist in front of their chest to describe the squeezing aspect. Now, in some cases, it'll just be isolated discomfort in the arm or in the neck. And the other thing to look for is predictability...for angina...that it comes on with exercise, or with heavy eating, or with the cold weather exposure - it usually stops when you stop what you're doing.

NEMA: Will you know the signs you're having a heart attack when they happen, and will you act on them? That's what Dr. Smith brings up in our next program. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Transcripts:

Week: 565.2 Guest: Dr. Sidney Smith, Cardiologist, Past President- American Heart Association Topic: Indications of heart trouble, early warning signs (Part two of two) Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Is it a heart attack? coming up.....

SPOT: For 15 years, the National Emergency Medicine Association has worked against stroke, heart disease and trauma. Join the effort,call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: You can save your life...or the life of someone close to you...by listening to Dr. Sidney Smith, past president of the American Heart Association, and a cardiologist, describe the signs of heart attack.....

SMITH: I think the critical aspect to this is a very severe chest discomfort...a pressure...it may radiate into the left arm, it may radiate into the neck. Usually associated with a fair amount of perspiration or sweating...in most cases, in fact, will occur in the morning...in general, it occurs at rest, though it can occur in association with exercise. The pain is unrelenting...and continues... and the most important thing is to get medical attention. The average patient waits from 4 to 6 hours before seeking medical attention, and that really limits what the health care system can do to improve the outlook for the patient who's experiencing early symptoms of a heart attack .

NEMA: Please take these symptoms seriously...and get immediate medical attention if they occur. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.