Chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack and usually occurs on the left side or in the center of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. A victim may feel the pain in only one part of the body or the pain could also appear in other parts of the body such as arms, back, neck, shoulders and even the jaw. These discomforts may come and go and may bring about the sensation of squeezing, shortness of breath, pressure, fullness, indigestion or heartburn. Some heart attack patients have even experienced nausea and fatigue. Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms and some of these signs and symptoms may gradually begin to appear. Often the symptoms are different with a second heart attack.
A person experiencing these symptoms is a medical emergency and you should call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack are not the same.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a “rhythm” problem. It occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. This causes the heart to quiver so that it can no longer pump blood to the brain, lungs, and other organs. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive immediate lifesaving treatment.
Heart Attack is a “clot” problem. It occurs when a clot blocks blood flow. A person having a heart attack may have discomfort or pain in the chest. Uncomfortable feeling in one or both arms, the neck, the jaw, or the back between the shoulder blades. Other signs of a heart attack are shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, or light headedness.
Respiratory Arrest. Respiration arrest is the cessation (stoppage) of oxygen throughout the body. Failure of the lungs to deliver oxygen can result in death if no action is taken. A lack of oxygen to the brain will cause a loss of consciousness and death. Immediate treatment is essential for the changes of survival.
Women, the elderly, and people with diabetes are more likely to have less typical signs of a heart attack.
The longer the person with a heart attack goes without treatment, the greater the possible damage to the heart muscle. Occasionally, the damaged heart muscle triggers an abnormal rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.
If you suspect someone having a heart attack, act quickly and phone 911 right away. Don’t hesitate, even if the person doesn’t want to admit discomfort.