Heart Attack Warning Signs
A heart attack can occur at any time- and they are not always sudden and
intense. The Society of Chest Pain Centers reports that 50% of sudden
cardiac deaths occur outside of a hospital, suggesting that many people
do not act on early warning signs. Knowing and recognizing heart attack
warning signs can save a life. When it comes to your heart, every minute matters.
If you or someone you love is experiencing any sign or symptoms of a heart
attack, call 9-1-1 immediately and go directly to the emergency room.
Heart attacks are not always sudden and intense. Many heart attacks start
slowly with only mild pain or discomfort. Some people do not experience
chest pain but instead have other signs. Signs of a heart attack include:
- Uncomfortable pressure, heaviness
- Squeezing, tightness
- Discomfort lasts more than two minutes, may come and go
Discomfort In Other Areas Of The Upper Body
- One or both arms
- Back, neck or jaw
- Stomach or abdomen
Other Signs (With Or Without Chest Discomfort)
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Nausea, vomiting
- Extreme weakness/fatigue
Have Chest Pain? Call 9-1-1!
Because every minute counts when having a heart attack, getting to the
Emergency Room as quickly as possible is important. Unfortunately, more
than 50 percent of all patients experiencing chest pain walk into the
Emergency Department rather than calling 911. The fact remains that every
minute counts, and calling 9-1-1 starts treatment earlier.
911 dispatchers are often trained to not only locate you quickly, but also
assist you in early treatment options. In many areas of the country, Emergency
Medical Services (EMS) can diagnose a heart attack by using an electrocardiogram
(ECG) and also initiate early treatment.
Arriving by ambulance to the Emergency Department helps to ensure that
you will not wait to be seen by a physician. Many patients who experience
chest pain drive themselves, only to find that they may wait in the Emergency
Department lobby until they can see a doctor. Do not let this happen to you.
EMS is able to radio ahead to the Emergency Department that you are on
your way. This enables the Emergency staff to be ready for you when you
arrive through their doors.