But first discuss:
What is a heart attack?
Heart attack, or, myocardial infarction is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. Each year, about 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack, and heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. Most of the deaths from heart attacks are caused by ventricular fibrillation of the heart that occurs before the victim of the heart attack can reach an emergency room. Those who reach the emergency room have an excellent prognosis; survival from a heart attack with modern treatment should exceed 90%. The 1% to 10% of heart attack victims who die later include those victims who suffer major damage to the heart muscle initially or who suffer additional damage at a later time.
Not going of the tangent, below are the early signs of heart attack:
1. Chest discomfort.
A heart attack occurs when heart disease has reached the point where blood stops flowing to the muscle of the heart. The most common sign of heart attack in men is chest discomfort that includes squeezing, pressure, or pain. It used to be thought that only chest pain was a sign of heart attack, but it’s possible to have discomfort that doesn’t register as painful. This discomfort may also be present in your arms, back, neck, abdomen, or jaw.
2. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or stomach pain.
Some people have these symptoms during a heart attack. They may even vomit, Chambers says.
Women are more likely to report this type of symptom than men are.
Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate, after all. But you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack.
So if you feel this way and you’re at risk for heart problems, let a doctor find out what’s going on, especially if you also have any of the other symptoms on this list.
3. Shortness of breath.
Your breathing and your heart pumping blood effectively are very closely related. Your heart pumps blood so it can circulate to your tissues as well as get oxygen from your lungs. If your heart can’t pump blood well (as is the case with a heart attack), you can feel short of breath.
Shortness of breath can sometimes be an accompanying symptom to unusual fatigue in women. For example, some women report they would get unusually short of breath and tired for the activity they were performing. Going to the mailbox could leave them exhausted and unable to catch their breath. This can be a common sign of heart attack in women.
4. Other symptoms
- feel short of breath
- feel nauseous
- have a cold sweat
- feel dizzy or light-headed.
Some people have also described feeling generally unwell or “not quite right”.
Symptoms can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse. They usually last for at least 10 minutes.
Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait – call 911 or your emergency response number.
Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room.