Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Either way, heart attack is a life-threatening emergency. Learn what to look for and don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 if you think you or your loved one is having a heart attack.
If you think you're having a heart attack, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
Common Heart Attack Symptoms
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.
Shortness of breath
This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
Other signs include cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness, palpitations, paleness, weakness, fatigue or dizziness.
Women and Heart Attack
The most common heart attack symptoms in men and women are chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, back pain or jaw pain. Learn more about heart attack symptoms in women.
Fast Action Saves Lives
Even if you’re not sure you’re having a heart attack, act fast and dial 9-1-1. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) specialists are trained to revive, stabilize and transport you to the hospital if your heart has stopped. You may be able to prevent further damage to your heart muscle if you receive immediate treatment.