Doctors see increase of cardiac patients during holidays
Dr. Gates Barry, Emergency Medicine Physician with Piedmont Macon, says they've seen a 10 to 20 percent increase in cardiac patients during the holidays.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— It’s the time of year when people gather with loved ones. While that does bring joy, it also brings more food, and potentially stress.
Dr. Gates Barry, Emergency Medicine Physician with Piedmont Macon, says they’ve seen a 10 to 20 percent increase in cardiac patients during the holidays.
“I think people might unfortunately wait if it’s around the holidays… saying ‘Hey I’ve got some chest pain. I feel short of breath but I want to be with my family maybe I’ll tough it out.’ When perhaps they shouldn’t be,” he said.
Dr. Barry encourages anyone with cardiac symptoms to go to the emergency room. He says prevention for any disease though, should include going to your primary care doctor on a regular basis, and keeping up with your medications.
“I would encourage people to continue the routine that they might have. Everybody has a little bit of room for improvement,” he said. “But maybe if you’re only eating so much food maybe eat just a little bit more for the holidays or maybe drink just a little bit more. Try to tone that down some.”
He also says heart attack symptoms look different from person to person. It’s not always chest or arm pain.
“Those that have diabetes are going to have different types of symptoms because of their disease. Also women, the elderly, everyone’s going to be different and have different symptoms they might present with,” he said. “So just keep in mind, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, back pain, these can all be signs of a heart attack.”
Dr. Barry says if you have concerns about your symptoms, go to the emergency room immediately.