Heart attacks more common in women - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Heart attacks more common in women

November 9, 2006

Albany - - Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Medical researches say far too few women *or* first responders actually know it!

It was the topic today of a training program Thursday for emergency medical workers across the state.  

They're mixing fun with some very important issues. 200 medical responders across Georgia are competing for bragging rights. Beyond the laughs and cheers, there's learning taking place.

"Cardiovascular disease and its sequella is the leading cause of death among women period," says RN Robin Godwin. 

In one of their sessions, first responders in Albany for the Trends in medical emergencies conference take a serious moment to learn about real-life issues they can face on the job.

"When we think of a heart attack, we think of chest pain, jaw pain, vomiting. That's just some of the classic symptoms that have been put out there. For women, we're finding that it can be very different."

Godwin presented her research to the group saying 50 % of women who have heart attacks actually die within two months.

It's information Dougherty County EMS Director Bobby Tripp says his paramedics and technicians can use.

"Our job, there's so many changes coming along every year and it's real important that we retain efficiency in our training."

Godwin explains when a woman complains of flu symptoms or general weakness, it could be a more serious issue and she hopes these first responders are listening.

"The next time they go pick up a 45 year old female whose vomiting and syncopated, they think she may be having a heart attack instead of well she's just got a viral bug and she's probably fine."

Tripp says the message sticks.

"If you don't know what you're doing, it could be the difference in whether someone lives or dies."

That's just why they're here today.  

Godwin suggests first responders update their treatment plans and stay informed on the research on atypical chest pains to better respond to their female patients.

The medical emergencies conference wrapped up Thursday.

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