Heart attacks occur when there is a lack of blood to the heart, causing permanent damage. It is important to treat a heart attack within 1-2 hours from the time symptoms begin.
- Chest pain: The chest pain experienced during a heart attack can vary from a slight squeezing or feelings of fullness in the chest, to extreme pressure. If you experience chest pain for more than 5 minutes, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
- Shortness of breath: This may occur before chest pain.
- Pressure or tightness in the extremities: A lack of blood in the heart can radiate pain into the arm (especially the left arm) neck, and shoulders. Jaw and throat pain are the most common. It is important to note that many women do not experience chest pain during heart attacks.
- Other symptoms:
Cold sweat or dizziness
Nausea or vomiting
Feelings of anxiety
Special advice for women
Women are more likely to die from a heart attack than men. Experts attribute this to the fact that women often ignore the symptoms and delay seeking emergency treatment.
Special note for everyone
Symptoms vary as well as their intensity. Just because your father described his heart attack as excruciating does not mean that the tightness in your chest isn’t a heart attack. If you suspect that you are having a heart attack, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1! It’s a call that could save your life.
The Heart Institute at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive emergency services and treatments for heart attack patients. We are ready to serve you when you need us.
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