Heart Attack Symptoms | Cardiac Care at Tyler Heart Institute - Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

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Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart attack

According to the American Heart Association, common heart attack symptoms may include:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • 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.

Atypical symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Women may be less likely than men to experience chest pressure during a heart attack. They may be more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, dizziness, and pressure in the upper abdomen and back.

What should I do if I think I’m having a heart attack?

  • Call 9-1-1. Even if you aren’t sure that you’re having a full-blown heart attack, your symptoms need to be evaluated immediately to prevent damage to your heart. Let a 9-1-1 dispatcher send an ambulance to pick you up; don’t drive yourself to a hospital.
  • Take an aspirin. If you are not allergic to aspirin, while you wait for the ambulance to arrive you can place a regular-strength aspirin on your tongue and allow it to dissolve to prevent blood from clotting.

Chest pain accreditation

Community Hospital has been accredited as a chest pain center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. This accreditation recognizes our expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.

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