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Heart Attack Warning Signs



Published: Sun, February 1, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most of them start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often the people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are some of the 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 may occur with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don’t wait longer than 5 minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. The staff members are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. And you will get treated faster in the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.

If you’re the one having symptoms, and you can’t access emergency medical services (EMS), have someone drive you to the hospital right away. Don’t drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.

Since 2004, Go Red For Women has captured the energy, passion, and intelligence of women to work collectively to wipe out heart disease—the No. 1 killer of women. Today we want millions of women across America to take heart disease personally. Using the simple platform “Love Your Heart,” Go Red For Women engages these women—and the men who love them—to embrace the cause. Healthcare providers, celebrities, and politicians also elevate the cause and spread the word about women and heart disease. For more information about Go Red For Women, please call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278) or your local American Heart Association at 330-965-9230 or visit www.GoRedForWomen.org. The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co., Inc.


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