What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction (MI), occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked, usually due to a blood clot. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and seeking prompt medical help is crucial for reducing damage to the heart. Common signs and symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  1. Chest Pain or Discomfort:
    • Pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or left side of the chest. The sensation may last for a few minutes or come and go.
  2. Pain Radiating to Upper Body:
    • Discomfort or pain spreading to the arms (usually the left arm, but it can affect both), back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  3. Shortness of Breath:
    • Difficulty breathing, often accompanied by chest discomfort or occurring before chest pain.
  4. Cold Sweat and Nausea:
    • Profuse sweating, feeling lightheaded, nauseous, or dizzy.
  5. Fatigue and Weakness:
    • Unusual fatigue, tiredness, or a general feeling of weakness.
  6. Pain or Discomfort in the Upper Abdomen:
    • A feeling of discomfort, pressure, or pain in the upper abdomen or upper back.
  7. Indigestion or Heartburn-Like Symptoms:
    • Feeling of fullness, bloating, or burning sensation in the upper abdomen, which may be mistaken for indigestion.
  8. Jaw or Throat Pain:
    • Pain, pressure, or aching in the jaw or throat, sometimes mistaken for a toothache or sore throat.
  9. Anxiety or Restlessness:
    • A sense of anxiety, unease, or impending doom.
  10. Rapid or Irregular Heartbeat:
    • Palpitations, a feeling of the heart racing or beating irregularly.

Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, and symptoms can vary in intensity. Some individuals, particularly women and older adults, may have atypical or subtle symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, nausea, or mild discomfort, rather than the classic chest pain.

If you or someone else is experiencing symptoms that could indicate a heart attack, call emergency services immediately. Acting quickly can save a life and improve the chances of a successful outcome.

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