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Discuss the signs and symptoms associated with myocardial infarction.

How do these symptoms differ in a male versus a female?

A myocardial infarction occurs when the coronary artery is occluded, stopping the flow of blood to the heart. The signs and symptoms of a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, are well known due to public service announcements and other types of media. The most significant symptom is chest pain, which many describe as crushing. There may also be shortness of breath, pain radiating from the left shoulder and down the arm. The pain may be referred pain, occurring in the jaw or ear. Often there is vomiting and nausea. People may have chest pain that comes and goes, they may break out in a cold sweat, and feel faint. However, in ten percent of the cases there are no symptoms (Fishbein, M.D., M, 2011). Men tend to have more classic symptoms, where as women may present with complaints of being tired, though they are getting adequate rest, feeling anxious, pain between the shoulder blades, and chest pain they may describe as achy. Women often will ignore these symptoms as they are not what they may consider serious. They may also have mid-abdominal discomfort; trouble sleeping, and a burning pain in the chest that they might attribute to indigestion ( M e d i c i n e N e t . c o m , 2 0 1 1 ) . Whatever the cause of these symptoms, both men and women having these symptoms, should seek medical attention.

Fishbein, M.D, M. (2011). Heart attack pathology. Retrieved from m (2011). Heart attacks in women. Retrieved from

Brooke, I enjoyed your post about what causes cardiac arrest. I found in my reading that men are more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest than women. I also found that a patient history of coronary artery disease is also a risk factor. In my Medical Law and Ethics class we discussed the consequences of resuscitation of those with cardiac arrest who had been clinically dead over four minutes and when the patient should not be given CPR. What are your thoughts on this? I think it would be illegal unless there was a living will in place not to start CPR.
Ryan, this is an excellent post and you really have researched the causes of enocarditis, myocarditis, and pericarditis. I, being a diabetic, have been advised by my dentist to take particularly good care of my gums and teeth, as this is one avenue that my cause endocarditis. I have also found that people with heart disease are at higher risk, as you have pointed out.