A heart attack occurs when one of the major arteries supplying blood to the heart becomes blocked, usually due to a buildup of plaque. While symptoms vary from person to person, common warning signs include:
- Chest pain that lasts several minutes or goes away and comes back. You may feel fullness or a squeezing sensation in the center of your chest.
- Pain and discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath.
- Cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, anxiety, indigestion and unexplained fatigue.
If you or a loved one experience any of the above symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away, even if your symptoms seem mild. Do NOT drive the patient to the hospital as paramedics can treat the patient and communicate with the hospital en route, saving valuable time that can save heart muscle and lives.