Heart attack should not have that clichéd element of surprise if you are aware of its symptoms. As we or our loved ones grow older, it is wise for us to be aware of this information. To help you with in detecting this life-threatening condition, we’ve listed seven of the common symptoms a patient may feel before the attack.
Note that when presented with two of these symptoms, you need to call your country or region’s emergency hotline immediately.
- Chest Pain
- Chest pain tops the list of most regular symptom of a heart attack. It is characterized with dull or aching feeling that patients usually describe as the worst pain they have ever felt. If you feel that your chest pain does not change even while you’re moving or taking deep breaths, it’s time to call your emergency hotline.
- Pressure in the Chest
- It is characterized with the feeling of heaviness in the chest. This does not necessarily mean that you need to feel the pain, as it will be actually a chest pain.
- Pain in the jaw, neck or arm
- There may be pain or pressure in these areas and in the case of feeling it in the arm, it is usually the left one that is affected. The patient may also feel pressure between the shoulder blades.
- Shortness of Breath
- Heart attacks may also cause fluid in the lungs which will lead the patient to experience shortness of breath. It is characterized with the patient feeling as if he or she is suffocated. If this symptom is accompanied by coughing up of white or pink frothy sputum, don’t hesitate to call the emergency number.
- Sweating and Nausea
- They may come individually or together since they are closely related. Sweating and nausea are a body’s reaction with stress. Feeling these two plus chest pain is definite sign of having a heart attack.
- Passing Out (or Syncope)
- As the heart attack occurs and progresses, there will be damaged heart muscle. This certainly leads to loss of blood pressure and decrease of blood flow to the brain. As there is loss in the flow of blood to the brain, supply of oxygen is limited. It is just a matter of time before the patient loses consciousness.
- If you’re the patient, sit down and try to rest until the help arrives.
- If you’re the patient, have someone get your medications and personal medical information before the arrival of ambulance.
- If you’re the patient’s relative or friend, try not to panic, call the emergency hotline and monitor the patient closely.