Catch the symptoms early
If you experience the warning signs of a heart attack, don’t wait to get help. Some heart attacks are sudden and severe. But most start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience it.
Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks cause discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or goes away and then comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, pressure, fullness, or pain.
Discomfort in other parts of the upper body. Symptoms may include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
Shortness of breath. This can happen without chest discomfort.
Other symptoms. Other possible symptoms include cold sweats, nausea, and dizziness.
Symptoms are different for men and women
As with men, the most common symptom of a heart attack in women is chest pain (angina) or discomfort. But women are slightly more likely than men to experience other common symptoms, especially shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back and jaw pain.
Learn about heart attack symptoms in women.
Watch Video: Heart Attack – Short Film Directed by and Starring Elizabeth Banks
Don’t hesitate to call 911
Know and remember the symptoms of a heart attack: Even if you don’t think it’s a heart attack, get it checked out.
Minutes matter. Quick action can save your life.
Call 911 if you have symptoms of a heart attack. Calling 911 is the fastest way to get life-saving treatment.
Treatment can begin as soon as the emergency medical services (EMS) team arrives—an hour before someone drives to the hospital. EMS personnel are also trained to resuscitate a person in cardiac arrest. Patients with chest pain who come to the emergency room are usually treated more quickly in the hospital.
For many reasons, it’s best to call 911 so an experienced EMS team can begin treatment and get you to the emergency room quickly.