Take the “IF She Were a SWAN…” Challenge to Better Detect Signs of Heart Attack in Women


Learn the signs of heart attack in women with this easy to remember acronym.

We all know the story of the ugly duckling who ended up to be a gorgeous swan. The apparent moral of that particular story is that many things, upon first appearance, are not what they seem to be. It is with the swan’s story in mind that Harmony Home Health & Hospice encourages you to celebrate Women’s Heart Health Month with the “IF She Were a SWAN…” Challenge.

As with a man, a woman’s most typical heart attack warning sign is chest pain. Yet while many heart attacks are immediate and intense, most of them actually launch slowly and gradually with mild discomfort. The National Institutes of Health notes that women often claim to have physical symptoms for as long as a month or more prior to undergoing the actual heart attack. Also, women are somewhat more likely than men to encounter and report some of the other less well known symptoms. Use the letters in IF and SWAN to understand the additional signs to watch for which include:

  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Weakness in the arms
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea/vomiting

No matter if you are female or male, if you experience any of the above symptoms and believe it may potentially be a heart attack, even if you are not sure, it is essential to obtain medical help right away. A difference of five minutes could save your life. Calling 911 is normally the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services staff can get started on treatment up to an hour sooner than arriving at the hospital by car. They are also trained to revive a person whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance also typically receive faster treatment at the hospital.

Although it is valuable for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, it is specifically critical for caregivers to know what to look for when caring for their loved ones.

If you or someone you love has already suffered a heart attack and needs further support, either at home or in a care facility, our providers of elder care services for Salt Lake City families can help! Harmony Home Health & Hospice has over 20 years of experience helping local clients and their families. Contact us online or at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) to learn more about our elder care services in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas.