Are you experiencing chest pain? Could it be a heart attack?

By: Mon Health
April 14, 2016
Heart Attack Symptoms

When a heart attack strikes, every second counts.

“If you’re having a heart attack, you need to quickly get to a hospital where you can receive an emergency heart procedure,” said John A. McKnight, MD, Mon General Hospital Cardiac and Vascular Center Cardiologist.  “Receiving quick treatment can decrease the amount of heart muscle damage.”

It is important to know the signs of a heart attack:

The following are the most common symptoms of a heart attack. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Symptoms may include:
  • Severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
  • Pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw
  • Chest pain that increases in intensity
  • Chest pain that is not relieved by rest or by taking nitroglycerin
Chest pain that occurs with any/all of the following (additional) symptoms:
  • Sweating, cool, clammy skin, and/or paleness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue
  • Rapid or irregular pulse
Although chest pain is the key warning sign of a heart attack, it may be confused with indigestion, pleurisy, pneumonia or other disorders.

Women are more likely to have "nonclassic" heart attack symptoms than men. Still, health care providers note, unexplained jaw, shoulder, back, or arm pain can also signal a man's heart attack even when the classic crushing chest pain is absent.

These are the most common warning signals for heart attack in women:

  • Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Chest discomfort with sweating
  • Pain that spreads from the chest to the arm, neck, or jaw
  • Shortness of breath, tiredness or upset stomach. These are particularly common in women.
If you think you may being having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
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