Why You Might Miss Signs of a Heart Attack Around the Holidays

A local paramedic explains how people get caught up in the holiday season and miss the signs of a heart attack.

While it is fine to indulge, it is also important to be mindful of overall health, especially throughout the holiday season. Rural/Metro Ambulance, the largest ambulance provider in the county, sees an increase in heart attacks around the holidays, largely due to overindulgence.

“What happens is people have too much food and alcohol, and mistake heart attack symptoms for indigestion,” said veteran Rural/Metro Paramedic and Nurse Rick Rod. “Even if they begin feeling uneasy about their health, they do not want to interrupt their family’s get-togethers so they try to wait it out, until it is sometimes too late.”

Below are a few things you can do to alleviate some of the over-indulgence and ensuing "food coma" after a large meal:

  • Keep the serving dishes in the kitchen, so you won’t take extra helpings mindlessly.
  • Use smaller serving spoons and plates. Studies have found that the bigger the bowl and serving spoon, the more ice cream people tended to eat.
  • Stick to foods that require utensils—we eat finger foods faster than those that require a fork.
  • Contribute to the dinnertime conversation. The more you talk, the less you’ll eat. 

As always, when in doubt, 911 is at your fingertips. And, remember ... Every Second Counts.

Reema Makani Boccia is the public relations manager for Rural/Metro Ambulance.


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