Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Every year approximately 715,00 Americans have a heart attack, and almost half of sudden cardiac deaths happen outside a hospital. Being able to spot the signs and symptoms of a heart attack is an important skill for your staff, as taking immediate action, including calling 911, could save a resident’s life.

The National Heart Attack Alert Program identifies these major signs:

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that 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 symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.

Click here to learn more from the CDC.

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