Overview

In the event of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Knowing the signs of a heart attack are vital so you can be treated as soon as possible to avoid significant damage. In some people, symptoms can occur suddenly or slowly over a period of time. Others can experience mild to no symptoms before they experience a heart attack, referred to as a silent heart attack. Keeping that in mind, there are some general and usual signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain, an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or left side of the chest that can be mild or strong. It can last for a few minutes or keep going and coming back. All chest pain should be checked by a doctor.
  • Those that have congenital heart disease frequently experience angina as well, chest pain that occurs when the person is active and usually goes away with rest. However, the difference is that it does not cause permanent damage to the heart muscle.
  • Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting, light-headedness or sudden dizziness, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
  • Sleep problems, fatigue (tiredness), and lack of energy

Women more often experience atypical symptoms, such as jaw pain, nausea, headaches, shortness of breath and fatigue.


Diagnosis, Treatment, and Therapies

To learn about diagnosis, treatment, and therapies, please visit the Interventional Cardiology Program.