Heart disease is the leading killer in the United States. Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack and how to respond could save a life. The following guidelines can help you make the right decisions and take the right steps when seconds count.
Heart attack symptoms:
The following may be symptoms of a heart attack. Not all of these warning signs occur in every attack. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
- Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck, back, and arms.
- Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath.
- Feeling very anxious or very tired.
Take the following emergency actions ahead of time if you or a family member has a heart condition or is at risk of a heart attack:
- Know which hospitals in your area provide 24-hour emergency heart care. Tell family and friends where they are.
- Keep emergency rescue phone numbers near your phone or save them on your cell phone.
- Tell family and friends to call 911 or your local number for emergencies if chest pain lasts more than a few minutes.
There are other causes of chest pain besides a heart attack. However, you should get medical help if you or someone else have the heart attack symptoms described above.
What to do:
If you suspect someone is having a heart attack:
- Call 911 or your local number for emergencies. Tell the person who answers where you are and that someone is having a heart attack. Don’t hang up until you’re told to do so.
- You should not drive, or let someone else who is having symptoms drive, to the hospital.
While waiting for emergency help to arrive:
- Make sure the door to your home is unlocked.
- Make sure you have a phone with you.
- Chew and swallow 1 adult (325 mg) or 4 low-dose (81 mg) aspirin (do not take aspirin if you are allergic to it).
- Sit in a comfortable chair and wait for help to arrive.
Courtesy of Baptist Health System. See original article.