heart health
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How to tell if it’s a heart attack

The most common signs of a heart attack are:

  • Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest – like pressure, squeezing, fullness, heartburn or indigestion.
  • Upper body pain or discomfort – in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or upper stomach.
  • Shortness of breath – may be the only symptom.

Less typical symptoms include breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling unusually tired, nausea or vomiting, light-headedness or sudden dizziness.

Every minute counts

If you think you or another person might be having a heart attack, don’t ignore it or feel embarrassed. Call for help! Dial 9-1-1 even if you’re not sure the symptoms mean a heart attack. Here’s why:

  • Acting fast can save your or someone else’s life.
  • Ambulance personnel can start life-saving measures right away.
  • People who arrive at a hospital by ambulance often receive faster treatment.

If you can’t reach 9-1-1, have someone else drive you to the hospital right away. The sooner you get to the emergency room, the better your chance of survival. Prompt medical treatment can also reduce the damage to your heart.

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Library of Medicine  

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nicholas Raymond

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