Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

When a heart attack strikes, there is a window of opportunity during which doctors can stop the damage to the heart muscle. The key is getting treatment fast. That’s why it is critical to know the symptoms of a heart attack. It’s also important to know that not all symptoms occur in every heart attack, and women may experience different symptoms than men.

Classic Symptoms (men and women):

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Pain that starts in the chest and spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms or jaw (usually right shoulder and/or back in women)
  • Chest discomfort with light-headedness, fainting, sweating without fever, nausea or shortness of breath

Other Symptoms (more common in women):

  • Prolonged atypical chest pain, stomach or upper abdominal discomfort without shortness of breath
  • Severe nausea or "heartburn"
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness or sudden fatigue
  • Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness
  • Unexplained "feelings of doom"

If you experience any of the above symptoms for more than 15 minutes, call 9-1-1 and get help fast. It could save your life.