The nurse is caring for a middle-aged woman who walks 3 miles every morning. The nurse notes that during her morning walk, the client called her son and stated that she thought she was having a heart attack. Which symptom, identified by the client, is the most common and consistent with a myocardial infarction (MI)?

  1. palpitations
  2. lower extremity edema
  3. uncomfortable feeling of pressure in the chest
  4. nausea
Number 3 is correct.
Rationale: An uncomfortable feeling of pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest is the predominant symptom of an MI in women. Palpitations indicate an arrhythmia. Edema in the lower extremities is a later sign of cardiac failure. A feeling of nausea is less common when experiencing an MI.