Wilderness Heart Attack: Should You Walk or Wait?

  • More than a million Americans have heart attacks each year. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI), is permanent damage to the heart muscle. “Myo” means muscle, “cardial” refers to the heart, and “infarction” means death of tissue due to lack of blood supply.

    Symptoms of a heart attack include:

    • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone
    • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
    • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
    • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
    • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
    • Rapid or irregular heartbeats
    • During a heart attack, symptoms last 30 minutes or longer and are not relieved by rest or nitroglycerin under the tongue.

    What should you do in the wilderness if you experience one or more of these symptoms…

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