Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or distress. Frequent symptoms of a heart attack are:
– Chest pain that doesn’t clear up after resting or taking angina medications. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the middle of the chest that lasts longer than a couple of minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
– A sense of a crushing weight against the torso and profuse sweating.
– Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
– Nausea, vomiting, and cold sweats.
– A feeling of indigestion or heartburn.
– A fear of impending death (angor animi).
Other indications of a heart attack are:
– Shortness of breath.
– Dizziness, weakness, and fainting.
– Abdominal pain.
If you believe you are having a heart attack get help immediately. Each year up to 460,000 people die of heart disease in an emergency department or before reaching hospital. That’s up to 60% of cardiac deaths.
The first 3-6 hours are critical. By getting help early you greatly increase your chances of survival and greatly lessen permanent damage to your heart.
Take 1/4 tablet of aspirin and make sure that the emergency health providers know so that an additional dose is not given. And tell the emergency health providers that you believe you are having a heart attack.