What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack occurs, in most cases, when a vessel supplying the heart muscle with blood and oxygen becomes completely blocked. The vessel has become narrowed by a slow buildup of fatty deposits, made up mostly of cholesterol. When a clot occurs in this narrowed vessel, it completely blocks the supply of blood to the heart muscle. That part of the muscle will begin to die if the individual does not immediately seek medical attention.
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack:
- Pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in the center of the chest, spreading to the neck, shoulder or jaw pain
- Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath
- Upper abdominal pressure or discomfort
- Back pain
- Lower chest discomfort
- Unusual fatigue
- Unusual shortness of breath
- Sweating, clammy skin
- Anxiety or feeling a sense of doom with no apparent reason
Symptoms May Include:
- Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath: Occurring with or before chest discomfort.
- Other symptoms may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness. Treatments are most effective when they occur in the early stages of chest pain.
So don't delay! Don't take chances with chest pain. If you have chest pain or other heart attack symptoms, call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately.