Emergency personnel are trained to recognize the signs of a heart attack, but often it is hard for the untrained person to tell if their loved one is suffering from this medical emergency.
Here are some signs that you should be aware of in all genders:
1) Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest
2) Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, back, stomach
3) Shortness of breath
4) Extreme fatigue
5) Cold sweats
7) Feeling lightheaded or dizzy. A feeling of “impending doom” is also common.
Thus, you may not exhibit the ‘classic’ signs of pressure and pain. Instead, you may experience shortness of breath or a feeling of indigestion.
Keep these in mind, especially if you or a loved one has 1 or more common risk factors for heart disease: diabetes, history of tobacco use, family history of heart disease, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and excess weight/obesity.
Call 911 immediately if you suspect a heart attack.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack is a medical emergency that occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries becomes blocked, interrupting blood flow to part of the heart and leading to heart muscle injury. A heart attack may be “mild” or “severe.” This relates to the extent of injury that occurs to the heart muscle. If severe enough, this is called a “full-blown” or “massive heart attack.” A heart attack can result in cardiac arrest (stopping of the heart), brain cell death due to lack of oxygen, and if severe enough, death.
Heart attacks occur most often just before waking in the last phase of sleep, and in the morning; however they may also occur during periods of intense physical activity such as running or lifting heavy objects.
Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. The location of the chest pain or discomfort can vary depending on the area affected by the lack of blood supply to the heart muscle. Symptoms can vary in severity and may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, dull ache, or pain. Other common signs include: shortness of breath; nausea; vomiting; dizziness; cold sweats; lightheadedness or fainting; heaviness in the chest; and pain in the jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, back, stomach.
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, especially if you have risk factors for heart disease described above, be sure to call 911 for emergency assistance. It is important that these signs are noticed because they could end up saving a life.
Please share this article with others. We are in this together! If you need more assistance on signs of heart attack, our heart health program in Denver may be able to help! We are in this together.
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