Employees, volunteers, physicians and friends at Manchester Memorial Hospital donned their red apparel this past Friday during the National Wear Red Day, to raise heart disease awareness in women.
The American Heart Association created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002, to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women. National Wear Red Day is a day when Americans nationwide wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness. This idea has since evolved into simply wearing the color red on this day to remind women of the need to protect their heart health, and inspire them to take action.
Heart disease is no longer considered a "man's disease". Women can suffer the same devastating effects of heart disease as men, but may experience signs and symptoms of a heart attack that vary from those of a man's. Diagnosis and treatment can also be very different between genders. It is important for women to know how heart disease can affect their health and how the warning signs of a heart attack can be different from a man's.
During a heart attack, women can experience uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. There might be pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Women might have shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort, or break out in a cold sweat, have nausea, jaw pain, or lightheadedness. As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort.
If you have any of these signs, don't wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 911 and get to a hospital right away. Far too many women die because they fail to recognize the symptoms, don't take them seriously or don't get help fast enough.
Throughout February, the hospitals Mission in Motion unit will be out in the county, conducting free EKG screenings, along with the regular panel of screenings. If you are interested in knowing more about these free screenings, call at Call606-598-1095 or visit us at www.manchestermemorial.org.
*published in the Manchester Enterprise