February is National Heart Month.
Heart disease does not need to be your fate, even with genetic risk factors. There are always things you can be doing, especially if you are at risk for heart disease to help prevent heart disease or a heart attack.
That being said, knowing the top warning signs of heart attack is critical for prompt diagnoses and treatment. Many heart attacks start slowly, unlike the dramatic portrayal we often seen in the movies, beginning with mild pain or discomfort. There are times when a person experiencing a heart attack may not even be sure of what is happening. Others can come on suddenly and intensely. Heart attack symptoms vary, and even a person who has had a previous heart attack may have different symptoms in a subsequent heart attack. Women especially are known to experience some of the additional symptoms cited below, such as nausea or vomiting. More about heart attack symptoms in women.
7 Top Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Although chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom of a heart attack, heart attack victims may experience a diversity of symptoms that include:
- Chest discomfort or pressure
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Cold sweats
- Heartburn and/or indigestion
- General malaise (a vague unidentifiable feeling of sickness)
- and sometimes, no symptoms at all
As a matter of fact, a significant percentage of all heart attacks are what are known as “silent”, especially amongst people living with diabetes.
What Steps to Take If You Fear Someone is Suffering Heart Attack Symptoms:
Learn the signs above, but it is vital to have it checked out by a doctor if you have concerns that it might be a heart attack, or if the person has a history of cardiac distress.
Immediately call 9-1-1. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives, maybe your own.
If you or someone you know is experiencing mild signs and is unsure if they are suffering from a heart attack, our providers will immediately evaluate them, take vital signs and administer an EKG to determine next steps. If deemed a heart attack, 9-1-1 will be called from our Urgent Care Center.
Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room.
Feel free to call our West Hartford urgent care center for additional information on heart attack symptoms, where our providers will be happy to answer any questions and point you in the right direction.