American Heart Month 2021: Every minute matters in cardiac events

heart symbol inside cardiogram
February, American Heart Month, is a good time to remember the symptoms of cardiac issues.

The month of February is once again American Heart Month, and despite the continuing fight against COVID-19, patients should not hesitate in seeing a doctor if they experience symptoms of a cardiac event.

Remember, every minute matters when you’re experiencing an issue with your heart. The National Institutes of Health reports that of those who die from heart attacks, around half will die within an hour of their first symptoms. Here are some warning signs to look out for, which may indicate you are having a heart attack:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the jaw, neck or back
  • Pain in one or both arms, or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cessation of breathing
  • Collapse
  • Lack of pulse
  • Loss of consciousness

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms, doctors say.

Dr. Arora Vishal, interventional cardiologist at Augusta University Health, offered additional helpful reminders.

“In the meantime, remember the importance of daily exercise, a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables, maintenance of a healthy weight, and cessation of all tobacco products,” Vishal said.

AU Health’s Department of Cardiology is here to help. Augusta University Medical Center received national accreditation from the American College of Cardiology as a Chest Pain Center, the first in the region to do so.

As we continue to be vigilant looking for warning signs of COVID-19, it’s important to also look out for warning signs in our heart health. If you experience signs of cardiac arrest or other heart issues, call 911 right away.

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Written by
Henry Hanks

Henry Hanks is Senior News & Communications Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-522-3023 or

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Written by Henry Hanks

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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