*originally published on ManMade before they were purchased/merged with Esquire and the content removed.
There are many warning signs of a heart attack; noticing these signs can save precious time in case one strikes. Injury and death are more likely with each minute that these signs go unnoticed. If you suspect that any warning sign of a heart attack is present, immediately call 911. Do not risk waiting; it is better to error on the safe side than risk your cardiac health.
1.Chest Discomfort. Persistent chest discomfort is the most obvious warning sign of a heart attack. The pain usually begins in the center of the chest and can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Any chest pain, even if it is not from an impending heart attack, warrants a visit to a cardiac health professional.
2.Discomfort in the Upper Body. Other areas of the upper body, such as the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach may experience pain or discomfort. Depending on your personal cardiac heath, the pain may be localized or widespread. If strange upper body pain persists, it may be a warning sign of a heart attack.
3.Shortness of Breath. Random shortness of breath may indicate poor cardiac heath. If it is accompanied by any chest or upper body discomfort, contact 911 immediately. If you suddenly experience shortness of breath with no clear cause, it may be a warning sign of a heart attack.
4.Other Signs. Other warning signs of a heart attack include nausea, lightheadedness, or breaking out in a cold sweat. These signs may or may not appear with the signs listed above, but almost always indicate a health problem.
Do not risk your life and health –call 911 immediately if you or anyone else starts displaying any warning sign of a heart attack. Not all warning signs have to be present for a heart attack to occur; they can also last any duration or temporarily go away. Just because the pain has gone or feels to be decreasing doesn’t mean you are not at risk.
Since everyone’s cardiac health is different, any combination and duration of warning signs is possible. Contact 911 or a cardiac health professional if you experience any warning signs of a heart attack or have any reasons to question your cardiac health. Your friends and relatives will thank you for it.
Reference: American Heart Association, Heart Attack Warning Signs