Shani Kadosh, aged 36, from the community of Shaked, married and mother of three, is used to being tired. One day she felt she was more tired than usual. She complained to her mother and husband, but continued with her daily routine, which included being a teacher of first graders. “I felt a kind of distress and difficulty breathing, but I drank water and continued on,” she relates. “When I got home, I felt even more tired, and suddenly the pain also began. I lay down to rest, and after half an hour, I understood that the pain wasn’t going away. We travelled to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center's Emergency Room. I truly thought that the pain was in my stomach and was from something I had eaten.”
In the Emergency Room, Shani underwent all the tests but nothing out of the ordinary showed up. She was transferred for continued testing and supervision to the Internal Medicine B department. “Everyone was so nice and friendly, and were surprised that a young woman had such pain and exhaustion, but that all the tests were more or less okay, with one exception,” she continues.
“I saw a young, healthy woman with no family history of heart disease, but with a clear clinical presentation of a heart problem,” explains Director of the Internal Medicine B department, Dr. Sayaf Abu-Moch. “The discussion was whether to carry out cardiac catheterization or perhaps to first try a non-invasive test, such as a cardiac CT (virtual cardiac catheterization) so as not to have her undergo a medical procedure which bears a risk. In the end, the decision was that she must have a diagnostic cardiac catheterization.”
The stomachache was discovered to be a critical blockage in the coronary artery. Shani Kadosh
Shani was moved to the Cardiac Catheterization Room in the Cardiac Division, and during the catheterization, everyone was shocked to discover that there was a 90% blockage in one of her cardiac arteries, something which is rare to see in such a young woman. The cardiac catheterization ended successfully, and after a quick recovery she was sent home to rest and for follow-up in the designated clinic for women with heart problems.
Cardiologist Dr. Rami Abu Pane, who performed the catheterization on Shani said: “It is known that heart problems present differently in women than in men. Sometimes the pain is unclear, but there is significant tiredness. I recommend listening to your body, so that if there is an unusual and unfamiliar feeling, go urgently to seek medical advice.”
Director of the Cardiac Division, Prof. Ariel Roguin, adds: “There is a lack of awareness, sometimes even among the medical staff themselves, that heart disease can also strike women. Women with heart problems sometimes have general weakness, heartburn, pain in the arms or upper back, pain in the jaw, and discomfort in the chest.”
Dr. Abu-Moch concludes, “Shani’s case is rare because we are speaking about a young woman, without any pre-existing diseases. We recommend being aware of the clinical symptoms, reducing risk factors such as smoking, and if there is any doubt – go and get tested.”