Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms

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Hands-Only CPR

Hands-Only CPR can save lives. It's the simplest way to deliver safe, effective help to someone who may be having a heart attack. If someone around you loses consciousness and does not seem to be breathing, act at once. Immediately push down hard in the center of their chest with both hands. Use a fast rhythm – about two beats a second. Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. This video shows you how

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Discomfort or pain in the center of the chest
  • Discomfort in other parts of the body, including the arms, back, neck jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling nauseated or lightheaded

If the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off, a heart attack can result. Cells in the heart muscle do not receive enough oxygen and begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart. Having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, and having had a previous heart attack, stroke, or diabetes can increase a person's chances of having a heart attack.

According to the American Heart Association, about 700,000 Americans have an initial heart attack and another 500,000 have a recurrent heart attack each year. According to a CDC report, almost half of the cardiac deaths in 1999 occurred before emergency services and hospital treatment could be administered.

It is important to recognize the signs of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling 9-1-1. A person's chances of surviving a heart attack are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible.

More About Heart Disease

Last reviewed on Nov 30, 2023 request edits
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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