Heart Attack Signs

Act in Time

The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have launched a new "Act in Time" campaign to increase people's awareness of heart attack and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms.

Knowledge is Power

Know the signs of a heart attack, but be aware that symptoms can vary from person to person. Usual signs of a heart attack include chest pain, discomfort, heaviness or fullness in the chest, discomfort in arms, neck, jaw, stomach, shortness of breath, cold sweat or even nausea and vomiting. Sometimes these symptoms can come on suddenly but they can develop slowly. Not every chest pain is a heart attack, but it is impossible to know that before evaluation by a medical professional. Call 9-1-1 if you think you may be suffering from these symptoms. Do not drive yourself the hospital if these symptoms exist because during a heart attack, the possibility of life threatening rhythms exist, which can result in sudden loss of consciousness and death.

Heart Attack Signs from the AHA

Take Action

Delaying treatment may make the difference between life and death. Never drive yourself to the hospital if the possibility of a heart attack exists, call 9-1-1 immediately. Doing nothing is not an option. Left untreated, acute coronary blockages can lead to permanent debilitating heart damage or sudden death.

Time is Muscle

In the past, patients who were having chest pain were told to go to the nearest hospital. This is no longer the standard of care. Patients with known coronary artery disease (hardening of the arteries or clogged arteries), previous coronary artery bypass surgery, previous angioplasty, or stents who are having symptoms are at high-risk of acute heart attacks and should be transported to the nearest hospital capable of performing urgent cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and stents. Treatment should not be delayed by sending a patient just to the nearest hospital that cannot provide these specialized services.