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Myocardial Ischemia

Symptoms of Myocardial Ischemia

People experiencing a myocardial ischemia attack usually feel discomfort (often a pressure-like pain) in or around the:
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Jaw
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Arms.
It may feel like a squeezing, pressing sensation in the chest. This pain usually lasts two to five minutes.
Other symptoms can include:
  • Indigestion or heartburn-type sensation
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness.
Not all chest pain is myocardial ischemia. Several other conditions can cause chest discomfort or pain, such as:

Myocardial Ischemia Versus a Heart Attack

An episode of myocardial ischemia is not a heart attack, but it does mean that you have a greater chance of having a heart attack. The pain associated with myocardial ischemia means that some of the heart muscle temporarily is not getting enough blood. A heart attack, on the other hand, occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is suddenly and permanently cut off, usually by a blood clot. This can lead to serious heart damage.
There are some serious symptoms that indicate you are having a heart attack. If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately:
  • Pain or discomfort that is very bad, gets worse, and lasts longer than 20 minutes
  • Pain or discomfort along with weakness, feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, or fainting
  • Pain or discomfort that does not go away when you take angina medicine
  • Pain or discomfort that is worse than you have ever had before.
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