How do you know if you are having a heart attack and not indigestion or an unrelated pain? The key is to recognize what is happening quickly and to seek help immediately. Symptoms to be aware of:
- Discomfort, fullness, tightness, uncomfortable pressure, or squeezing in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes, or that comes and goes
- Crushing chest pain
- Pressure or pain that spreads to the upper back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or arms
- Dizziness or nausea
- Clammy sweats, heart flutters, or paleness
- Unexplained anxiety, fatigue, or weakness—especially with exertion
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
What to Do if You Think You're Having a Heart Attack
- Call 911, tell them you are experiencing heart attack symptoms, and have them send an ambulance.
- Crush or chew one full-strength aspirin and swallow it with a glass of water.
- At the hospital, insist that your complaints be taken seriously and that you are not made to wait. Insist on an electrocardiogram (EKG) or an enzyme blood test.
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WomenHeart is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) and the nations' only national organization solely dedicated to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education and patient support. For more information about WomenHeart, visit www.WomenHeart.org.