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Services | Patient/Family Education | Know Your Heart Risks

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when a blocked coronary artery keeps oxygen-rich blood from reaching part of the heart muscle. Without the oxygen it needs, the muscle becomes damaged.  This makes it harder for the heart to pump. A heart attack can cause permanent damage, but with early treatment, the damage can often be limited.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Chest Discomfort/pressure
  • Pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Lightheaded or weak feeling
  • Change in skin color
  • Anxiety, or a feel of impending doom
  • Women may experience more subtle symptoms, thinking they have the flu

Heart attack symptoms may occur weeks before the actual heart attack. Early symptoms such as mild or stuttering chest pain, pressure, burning, aching or tightness should not be ignored. Seek medical care immediately by calling 911.

Seek Medical Care Promptly and Call 911

Don’t be afraid to call 911. If you do not know the cause of your symptoms, assume it’s a heart attack. Play it safe and get medical help. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives! Emergency medical staff can begin treatment when they arrive. EMS staff is trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped.

What’s Your Risk?

Heart Attack Risk Calculator

Know Your Risk Factors for Heart Attack

  • Increasing age
  • Tobacco Smoke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity or overweight
  • Inactivity
  • Stress
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Alcohol
  • Heredity (Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop it themselves)
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Gender (Men have a greater risk)

Get Healthy—Start Today!

  • Get active
  • Lose Weight
  • Control Cholesterol
  • Reduce blood sugar
  • Eat better
  • Stop smoking
  • Manage blood pressure
  • See your doctor regularly

At SwedishAmerican, your heart is in good hands. SwedishAmerican Hospital has received Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). This society recognizes facilities trained in rapid evaluation of patients with chest pain by bringing together ED physicians, nurses, cardiologists and technicians to establish comprehensive management plan for patients with chest pain. As an Accredited Chest Pain Center, we have passed rigorous testing and process improvements to become recognized as one of the Society’s elite accredited facilities. We accomplished this through a range of different services for heart patients including:

  • Emergency Medical System
  • Emergency Department
  • Cardiac Catheterization Lab
  • Surgery
Contact Us
1401 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61104
(779) 696-4400


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