I rarely create posts that point directly to another post, but I’m making an exception. Every once in a while I come across a post so phenomenally useful that I just have to point it out and share it. Recently Kevin Pho, M.D. of the KevinMD blog (pictured left) posted just that type of post on his blog. The post, written by Carolyn Thomas, shares the first person descriptions of dozens of women who have had heart attacks.
Why is this so useful to my EMT and paramedic readership? Right now, 43% of your female patients who are experiencing heart attacks will present with no chest pain. Chest pain may be the “classic sign” of a heart attack in men, but women are a different story. Female patients are twice as likely to have their heart attacks misdiagnosed by a physician. How many will slip by your assessment skills undiagnosed?
Here’s my suggestion. Check out this post, “Heart Attack Symptoms in Women, In Their Own Words” over at KevinMD.com. Read these excerpts from real female heart attack patients, describing what their heart attack felt like to them. I think you’ll find it a surprising, interesting and informative exercise.