If you learn the signs of a heart attack and what steps to take, you can save a life–maybe your own.
A heart attack (also called myocardial infarction) is when part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies because it isn’t receiving oxygen. Oxygen is carried to the heart by the arteries (blood vessels). Most heart attacks are caused by a blockage in these arteries. Usually the blockage is caused by atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits (called plaque) inside the artery.
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have launched a new “Act in Time” campaign to increase people’s awareness of heart attack and the importance, here is the signs of a heart attack.
How do I know if I’m having a heart attack?
- Chest discomfort.
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath.
Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.
- Other signs
May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.