Top 11 Signs of a Heart Attack

Someone has a heart attack every 40 second in the Unites States.

Knowing the signs of a heart attack, can help you or someone seek treatment as soon as possible.

Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Chest pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arm pain
  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating
  • Pressure in the chest or like something is pushing there
  • Nausea

Additional Pieces to Consider

  • Pain can happen on either side.  It can come and go but typically doesn’t.  Position change does not help. If you are having symptoms and it is not a heart attack, what else could it be?
  • Overworked or pulled muscle – Tylenol or Advil does not help a heart attack like this injury.
  • Anxiety-anti anxiety meds do not help a heart attack.
  • Acid reflux or heartburn – Rolaids or Tums do not help a heart attack.
  • If you take these medications because you usually have these problems or you know why it could be this problem, and they help, it is likely not a heart attack.

Always err side on caution and go directly to an ER by ambulance or someone else transferring you.  Never drive yourself in case you start to feel sick or go unconscious.  Do not go to an urgent care or clinic, because they do not have everything to check for a heart attack and will need to call you an ambulance.

If you call 911, they will likely ask you if you have aspirin. Aspirin makes your blood slippery or some say thinner so that it can help your blood move better past the clot in your artery. When you are having a heart attack you are very much likely awake.  If you go unconscious, that means likely you are in cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest and heart attack are very different.  The most obvious is that you are awake when you are having a heart attack.  Pre-COVID our statistics were that someone dies of cardiac arrest every 90 seconds in the United States.  The latest results from AHA show that cardiac arrest has tripled.  It is the number one cause of death in Minnesota and in all states and overall in our country.

What can you do?  Learn CPR so that if you are ever around anyone who goes unconscious and stops breathing, you will know what to do.