Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack
The key signs of a heart attack and what to do if you think you are having one.
What is a heart attack?
When blood stops flowing to your heart, your heart is deprived of the oxygen and other nutrients in your blood that it needs to function well and stay healthy. Your heart muscle will begin to die and it may stop beating altogether – this is called a cardiac arrest. It’s important to act fast if you think you’re having a heart attack.
The sooner the blocked artery can be opened and the blood flow restored to your heart, the less damage will be done to your heart. Minimising the damage improves your chances of surviving the heart attack.
How would I feel if I was having a heart attack?
- chest pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness
- neck pain or discomfort
- tightness around the lower jaw
- dull ache between your shoulder blades in your back
- shoulder pain or discomfort
- numbness or tingling, or inability to use one or both arms.
It may feel like the pain is spreading from the centre of your chest to these other parts of the body.
You may also experience some of the following symptoms:
- feeling generally unwell
- cold sweat
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
Are heart attack symptoms the same for everyone?
Are heart attack symptoms the same for men and women?
It’s important to know all the warning signs to look out for, and to act quickly if you notice any of them.
What should I do if I think I'm having a heart attack?
The earlier you act, and the sooner you receive treatment, the better for your health and your heart.
If you think you could be having a heart attack – make the call.