Know the Signs.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense - the "movie heart attack," where no 1 doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
DISCOMFORT IN OTHER AREAS OF THE UPPER BODY
- Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
SHORTNESS OF BREATH
- Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in 1 or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
BREAKING OUT IN A COLD SWEAT, NAUSEA OR LIGHTHEADEDNESS
SIGNS FOR WOMEN
- With or without chest discomfort.
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are
somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly
shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these signs, call 911. Don't wait.
Information Source: American Red Cross Association, Dallas