A heart attack is normally characterized as severe chest pain, but may be indicated by a number of other, subtler signs. Heart attacks affect men and women of all ages. Learn to recognize the signs, and activate EMS immediately if you suspect someone may be suffering from a heart attack.
The signs of a heart attack might include:
- 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 or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath.
- Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, vomiting or lightheadedness.
If you suspect someone is having a heart attack: CALL 9-1-1.
1 Call 9-1-1 to activate EMS.
2 Allow the victim to sit up, or in the position that is most comfortable.
3 Reassure the victim that help is on the way.
4 Monitor the victim and perform CPR if the victim becomes unresponsive or lacks normal breathing.
Disclaimer: The Emergency Guide is provided as a reference only. Every effort has been taken to acquire and publish accurate information provided by medical authorities. In case of emergency, always call or have someone CALL 9-1-1.