Signs of a potential Heart Attacks

If you or someone you know is having a heart attack, you may have only a few minutes to act. A heart attack can strike suddenly, and sometimes without warning. It’s important to know what to do in an emergency. There are many different causes of heart attacks… And there is a lot you should know.

If you, or someone you know, experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to seek professional help immediately:

-Upper abdomen pain that lasts a long time.
-Discomfort or pain that spreads past the chest to the shoulders, teeth, jaw, or neck.
-shortness of breath, or inability to catch breath even after several minutes have passed
-extreme dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
-sweating and/or nausea.
-uncomfortable pressure, fullness or squeezing pain in the center of the chest (or where the heart is located).
-Sometimes the pain might go away and then come back. If it doesn’t go away, or it keeps coming back repeatedly, seek help.

But the really terrible thing is, sometimes there are no symptoms at all.

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. The length of time a heart attack can last varies immensely. Sometimes it can be shorter or longer, but generally it lasts more than fifteen minutes. Some people that experience a heart attack may have symptoms and warning signs hours, days, or weeks in advance. The earliest of these warning signs is generally continuous episodes of chest pain when the person is active. The pain usually disappears with rest.

Heart attacks are commonly caused by an artery becoming blocked. It’s the artery’s job to provide blood and oxygen to the heart. When one is blocked, it can easily injure or destroy part of the muscle that makes up the heart.

When fat, plaque, and cholesterol build up in the artery walls, this is called atherosclerosis. It tends to develop gradually over time. The arteries narrow and harden, they become less elastic and unable to stretch to support the flow of blood. If blood can’t reach the body, that part of the body eventually ceases to function from lack of oxygen. Sometimes the atherosclerosis can rupture, causing blood to clot, killing off tissue. This is a common cause of heart attacks.
There are certain things that can be done, if professional help is not available. This is why it’s important to make sure that you are educated on what to do in case of a heart attack.

If you, or someone you know, may be having a heart attack —CALL 911 


While waiting for paramedics to arrive, have the victim sit at rest.  If they are not allergic to aspirin and it is not contraindicated for them, give them an aspirin.  But don’t forget – they MUST chew it.

If the victim goes unconscious and stops breathing, you will need to start CPR.  Performing effective CPR in a timely manner can save the lives of those around you.


Kaline Reine
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation / November 16, 2012

It’s a common misconception that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and heart attack are the same thing. In reality, they are quite different. Understanding the difference could save your life—or the life of someone you love.

Heart Attack: A “Plumbing Problem” – The person is awake and the heart is beating
Sudden Cardiac Arrest: An “Electrical Problem” – The person is NOT Awake and the heart is NOT Beating

A Heart attack (the medical term is myocardial infarction or MI) occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is reduced or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die. The person is awake (conscious) and may complain of one or more of the signs and symptoms of heart attack.

Read More

Pansy Rocha / February 15, 2013

The typical symptoms of a heart attack are similar to those of angina, but more severe and longer lasting. The victim feels a pain that is usually squeezing or burning or feels a terrible pressure in the middle of chest. This pain may also travel up to the neck, jaw, or shoulder or down the arm and into the back.

Bonerge / March 18, 2013

In Ohio schools are required to do training and certification every 2 years! We have AEDs in every building. Thank you for reminding everyone how critical this is to our schools and communities! Thanks to training one of our teachers had received..she saved a man’s life at a local workout center as the batteries on the AED were dead.

Troy Bowman / March 19, 2013

Bonerge – It is great that CPR saved a life even though the AED didn’t work. But if your school owns an AED it is so critical that proper maintenance is performed on them so they are guaranteed to work when needed. I strongly suggest registering your AEDs on which will reminded persons in your organization to required maintenance including battery and pad replacements. CPR and AED’s are both effective tools when someone has gone into cardiac arrest. Knowing what to do (CPR) is just as important as having the right equipment (AED’s) available and in working order.

Tricia Herman / May 6, 2013

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Immediately call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can be sent for you. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Learn more about heart attack symptoms in women.

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