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  • Heart Attack Fact Sheet

  • When it comes to a heart attack, every second counts. Learn to recognize the warning signs.

    Call 911 immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

    • Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain) in the middle of the chest that lasts longer than a few minutes or that goes away and returns
    • Discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
    • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
    • A cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

    You should know

    • Not all warning signs occur in every heart attack
    • All symptoms can go away and return
    • Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain, in addition to chest discomfort
    • Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort

    What increases the chance of surviving a heart attack?

    Quicker door-to-balloon time increases the chance of surviving a heart attack. This is the time between when a patient enters an emergency room and when an angioplasty balloon or stent is inserted into a diseased artery.

    Time is muscle. Preserving quality of life is directly related to preserving heart muscle. The faster an artery is unblocked with a stent, the more heart muscle is saved.

    Most people who experience a heart attack wait too long to seek medical help. If you are unsure of your symptoms, have them checked immediately.

    Print this tip sheet and keep it handy as a reminder