Research

Heart Attack Symptoms: Knowing When to Call 911 Can Save Your Life

You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating: do not wait if you think you are having a heart attack – call 911 if you are able or get someone to help you.

This advice should be ingrained in our culture, but too many people are still dying because they don’t get help quickly enough.

Obviously, if you have risk factors, especially a diagnosed heart condition, or high blood pressure or diabetes, then you should be even more aware of the signs of a heart attack.

These signs include:

  • Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
  • Sweating.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.
  • Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat.

In addition to those heart attack symptoms, women could also experience the following conditions and should also seek immediate medical attention:

  • Pain in the arm (especially left arm), back, neck, abdomen or shoulder blades.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Overwhelming and unusual fatigue, sometimes with shortness of breath.
  • Light headedness or sweating

After you call 911, the operator may instruct you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin, if it’s at all possible. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.

See the video below on the importance of calling 911.

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