Not to worry! Elizabeth Banks - of 30 Rock, the recent Our Idiot Brother, and the upcoming Hunger Games trilogy - is fine. The heart attack she experiences takes place in a two-minute short called Just a Little Heart Attack that Banks directed and starred in; she describes it as "A little film about a super mom who takes care of everyone except herself."
The short went up on YouTube yesterday. Banks developed the film with the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women campaign, which aims to change the perception that cardiovascular disease is something that only affects older men. Heart disease, in fact, is the number one killer of women in the United States, and is the leading cause of death for women over 55 in Canada.
One of the key points of the campaign is that women can experience different signs of heart attacks than men; while both sexes might experience chest pain in advance of an attack, Health Canada offers up some other warning symptoms for women (which can appear up to one month before the actual heart attack):
- unusual fatigue that gets worse with activity
- difficulty breathing
- heartburn that is unrelieved by antacids
- nausea and/or vomiting that is unrelieved by antacids
- tightening and pain in the chest that may extend into the neck, jaws and shoulders
- general feeling of weakness
As always, if you or anyone around you is exhibiting signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately. And perhaps it wouldn't hurt to watch the Go Red For Women's video refresher in Hands-Only CPR.