Signs & Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack
If you think you may be having a heart attack, Stop, call 911 and chew an aspirin. Now is not the time to be doing research and a delay can be very dangerous. It’s important to pay special attention to any signs and symptoms of a heart attack especially if you have any of these risk factors: over 50 years in age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoker, history of heart disease.
Heart attacks occur when blood supply to the heart is blocked, therefore damaging the muscle. It’s important to chew an aspirin if you feel like you may be experiencing a heart attack because the aspirin will thin the blood.
- Chest Pain: Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of a heart attack, although it can vary quite a bit. Some people may feel as if an elephant is sitting on their chest, while others may feel a squeezing sensation in their chest. Others may describe it as chest fullness or an uncomfortable sensation. If you experience chest pain lasting longer than 5 minutes, don’t delay, call 911 and go to the emergency room.
- Shortness of breath: May feel as if you are unable to catch your breath even when resting. Shortness of breath often occurs before chest pain.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness: Feeling as if you might pass out.
- Cold Sweat: Sweating while feeling cold or chilled.
Symptoms more likely in Women
Women have a higher risk of dying from a heart attack because they are less likely to experience all of the symptoms we hear about often or see in the movies. Here are some symptoms that women should be especially aware of:
- Pain in the arm (especially the left arm), back, neck, abdomen or shoulder blades: uncomfortable pressure, tightness or ache.
- Jaw Pain and throat: Starts in the chest and moves to the jaw, feels like someone is choking you.
- Nausea, Vomiting or Indigestion
- Overwhelming and unusual fatigue
- Pale Skin
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack could save a life. Always remember to not delay if you or someone you know feels they may be experiencing a heart attack, call 911 and chew an aspirin. If the person becomes unconscious immediately begin CPR starting with chest compressions after calling 911. If you are in a public place you should also request an AED (automated external defibrillator) when activating EMS. Focus on pushing hard and fast in the center of the victims chest. For more information on how to do CPR please check out our website or sign up for a class. All CPR classes that are open to the public in the Knoxville area are listed on our calendar.