When women are far too busy to seek medical help

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters     July 28, 2019

In the wonderful world of cardiology, we know that “time is muscle”. The faster a person in mid-heart attack can get prompt and effective treatment, the greater the likelihood of saving that heart muscle, and of survival itself. As Yale University researcher Dr. Angelo Alonzo has suggested, the weak link in the chain of events leading to prompt and effective cardiac treatment is often patient delay in seeking care (which I’ve written about lots because I was so good at this myself:  here, here and here, for example).  Ironically, even having “knowledge of symptoms or risk factors” does NOT decrease this pervasively common treatment-seeking delay behaviour.   . Continue reading “When women are far too busy to seek medical help”

Yentl’s bikini: Dr. Martha Gulati on women’s most deadly heart attacks

 

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters    May 26, 2019

I’d love to believe that if both a man and a woman suffering the same type of serious heart attack showed up together at the same Emergency Department, their treatments and outcomes would be the same. I wish I could believe that, but as cardiologist Dr. Martha Gulati wrote last week:

“Despite progress, gaps still persist in how we treat women, and the impact on outcomes. Decades of tracking outcomes continue to show gaps in the treatment of women, and similar findings have been replicated throughout the world.”    .

Continue reading “Yentl’s bikini: Dr. Martha Gulati on women’s most deadly heart attacks”

Downplaying symptoms: just pretend it’s NOT a heart attack

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

When a blockage or spasm in one or more of your coronary arteries stops allowing freshly oxygenated blood to feed your heart muscle, a heart attack can happen. The faster you can access emergency treatment to address that culprit artery, the better your chances of being appropriately diagnosed.  The period of time between your first symptoms and actively getting the help you need can be divided into three phases:

  1. decision time – the period from the first onset of acute symptoms to the decision to seek care (for example, calling 911)
  2. transport time – the period from the decision to seek care to arrival at the Emergency Department
  3. therapy timethe period from arrival at the Emergency Department to the start of medical treatment

Only the first phase is the one you have complete control over. So don’t blow it.

Continue reading “Downplaying symptoms: just pretend it’s NOT a heart attack”