Each year 735,000 Americans suffer from heart attack. Most of them survive, while few of them don’t even make to the Emergency Room. Usually, heart attack starts slow. And different people have different signs of heart attack. Some experience mild pain while others severe. Chest pain, however, is a common heart attack sign.
Sad part is that people wait too long before calling for help. The longer you wait the greater is damage to your heart.
Note these 14 signs of heart attack and call for medical help ASAP if necessary.
1.Chest pain/discomfort: A mild/severe pain/discomfort in center of chest lasting for few minutes. This pain/discomfort usually arrives back often. Most people describe this discomfort as a feeling of heaviness, squeezing, aching, burning, tightness or crushing sensation.
note: sharp sensation of chest pain is usually not associated with heart attack.
2.Cold sweats: Another sign of heart attack. It is triggered as a fight or flight response. The stress and discomfort on your heart causes sweat. Cold sweats is usually accompanied with other signs of heart attack.
3.Shortness of Breath: Medically known as Dyspnea, shortness of breath or breathing difficulty may occur before or during chest pain. Although sometimes, other heart attack signs may occur in conjunction with Dyspnea.
People who suffered heart attack describe this feeling as unable to take a deep breath owing to the constricted feeling in the chest.
4.Nausea: It is a less common sign of heart attack. Usually, nausea is accompanied by belching and indigestion. Although nausea is a warning sign of many other medical condition, it should be considered serious when it is accompanied with other heart attack signs.
5.Indigestion: Discomfort within upper abdominal area is also a heart attack symptom. Most often, this sign suggests something other than heart attack. But if you experience it often then it should be taken seriously.
6.Heart Burn: Heart burn is common and there are many over the counter drugs available. However, if you experience pain at the back of your breastbone, ensure to consult with a doctor.
7.Belching: It is okay to burp after a meal. However, it is not okay to burp often and especially when you haven’t eaten. It could be the beginning of a heart attack. Therefore, if you experience belching with any other symptoms, call your doctor.
8.Dizziness: Dizziness or light headed with other symptoms of heart attack could be serious.
9.Jaw Pain: Pain, tightness, ache or discomfort in your lower jaw (on one side or both sides) spreading from the chest is an obvious heart attack sign.
10.Pain in the Neck: This is described as discomfort in the neck. It can also be burning or choking feeling in the throat. This pain usually spreads from the chest or shoulders.
11.Pain in the shoulder(s): Pain in one or both shoulders is also a common symptom of heart attack. Some describe it as a feeling of heaviness or pressure. The pain spreads from the chest.
12.Back pain: Pain occurs between your shoulder blades. And if this sign is accompanied by shortness of breath then it is sure sign of heart attack. In some cases, the pain may arise at lower left back.
13.Pain in the Arm(s): Feeling of numbness, tingling or discomfort in one or both arms (it is usually the left arm). This discomfort spreads from the chest.
14.General feeling of illness: A vague feeling of illness can also be attributed to beginning of an heart attack. This generally happens among old people. This sign is usually overlooked as old people think it is common with their age. But most fail to realize that it could be an onset of a heart attack.
What to do if you are experiencing any of the above signs of Heart Attack?
Call 911 or any other emergency number ASAP.
Sit or lie down in whatever position that makes you feel comfortable. Rest and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
If you take nitroglycerin, then take the normal dosage.
If your 911 or emergency operator advises to take aspirin then do so. Do not take any other pain medication. And do not substitute aspirin. Aspirin stops the blood from clotting.
note: Aspirin can interfere with other medication.
Important note: Minutes matter, at least to you when it comes to save your life. Therefore, if you suspect any sign of heart attack call 911 or emergency number in your local. They will start treating upon arrival which is much faster than going to the hospital by car.
What to do if you see a person having a heart attack?
If you witness someone having heart attack and falling unconscious, begin CPR. This keeps the blood flowing. You don’t have to deliver rescue breaths if you aren’t trained in CPR, just ensure to give hard compressions of 100 per minute at the center of chest.