attacks are sudden and intense, where no one 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:
Chest discomfort. 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
- There is often discomfort in other areas of the
upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in 1 or both arms,
the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- The could be shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
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/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
What to Do
In the event of a suspected heart attack, call 911. Emergency medical
services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive - up to an
hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff is
also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with
chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at
the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the