Warning signs of a heart attack

A heart attack generally has evident signs that you should be familiar with. Do not wait to seek help if an individual experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Even though some cases are abrupt and intense, most start steadily with minor pain or discomfort.

It is vital to pay close attention to the body and call for emergency assistance if the following are present:

  • Chest pain or discomfort – in most cases of heart attacks, it causes discomfort in the middle of the chest that lasts less than a few minutes or settles and recurs. It strikingly resembles an uncomfortable squeezing, pressure, pain or fullness.

    heart-attack
    Similar with men, women usually experience chest discomfort or pain as the most common indication of an impending heart attack.
  • Discomfort in other parts of the upper body – the symptoms might include discomfort or pain in one or both arms, neck, back, stomach or jaw.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort

Other indications that might be present include nausea, breaking out in cold sweat or lightheadedness.

Is there is a difference between men and women?

Similar with men, women usually experience chest discomfort or pain as the most common indication of an impending heart attack. On the other hand, women are more likely than men to experience some of the other usual symptoms such as back or jaw pain, shortness of breath and nausea or vomiting.

What should I do?

Even if you are familiar with the warning signs of a heart attack, always bear in mind that if uncertain, any symptoms that might arise should require a trip to a doctor. Remember that minutes matter and prompt action can save a life. Call for emergency assistance or bring the individual to the nearest emergency department.

By calling for emergency assistance, it is the quickest way to get life-saving treatment. The emergency team can start treatment upon their arrival.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a heart attack is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications of a heart attack, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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