Virtual Imaging: Early Detection Saves Lives. Imagery of two elderly couples jogging outside and smiling.

How to Determine the Onset of a Heart Attack

Every 34 seconds, a heart attack strikes. Surprisingly, cardiac arrest can sometimes go unnoticed, even by the victim. Understanding the signs and symptoms of an attack could save the life of yourself or another.

According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control, only 27 percent of respondents were aware of the major symptoms of a heart attack and knew to call 9-1-1 right away. Because nearly half of all sudden cardiac deaths occur outside the hospital, every person should be educated on what to do when faced with a heart attack.

Americans most at risk for heart attack are those with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and those who smoke. While an outside observer may be able to recognize a smoker, the other two factors are internal. Other risk factors include diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol use.

Most people are aware that chest pain or discomfort is a key indicator of a cardiac problem. Other symptoms include:

  • Upper body pain, or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.
  • Insomnia, mostly in women.
  • Flu-like symptoms.

Once the warning signs are recognized, it’s time to take action, and fast! First and foremost, call 9-1-1 immediately. While you wait on medical assistance, have the victim chew, but not swallow, one adult aspirin. Aspirin will slow down the body’s ability to form blood clots. If possible, ask the patient their age, name, and other vital information to have ready when the ambulance arrives.

A doctor will be able to diagnose heart attack based on several assessments, including:

  • Patient’s complete medical history.
  • Physical examination.
  • An ECG or EKG scan to detect abnormalities in the heart.
  • Blood tests to detect abnormal levels of certain enzymes in the bloodstream.

A patient’s chances of surviving a heart attack greatly improve when they receive immediate medical attention. Also, taking a proactive approach in your heart health will greatly reduce your heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

Visit Virtual Imaging to receive a complete diagnosis of your heart’s condition. We are the gold standard in identifying arterial breakdowns and offer state-of-the-art heart scans to determine your heart’s health. The non-invasive, technologically advanced equipment used in the scan examines the heart at speeds 10 times faster than conventional scanners. These scans will help you determine if it is time to seek treatment for your heart, before it’s too late.

The information obtained through our heart scans is combined with clinical information to create an individualized action plan for you and your doctor. To learn more about the Virtual Imaging EBT HeartScan call us at 770.730.0119 or visit at Taking a proactive approach to your heart health is the number one way to prevent cardiovascular disease, so don’t wait one more day.