Get Immediate Help
If you or someone you're with shows the signs of a heart attack, don't wait to seek help. Calling 911 is the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services can begin treating you on the way to the hospital.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense -- the "movie heart attack," 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 or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This feeling often comes along with chest discomfort. But it can occur before the chest discomfort.
- Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
For more information, visit the American Heart Association.