If you, or a loved one, should experience any of the signs of a heart attack - pain in the chest, shortness of breath, and a recurrent discomfort that feels like indigestion - don't ignore the pain. If you are able, take an aspirin and Call 911. Don't wait longer than five minutes before calling for help. When a heart attack strikes it is critical that blood flow be restored to the heart in a timely manner.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff will begin treatment when they arrive - sometimes up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS Staff are also trained and have the equipment to revive someone whose heart has stopped.
If you believe you may be experiencing a heart attack, it is important that you seek medical care right away. Please do not drive yourself to the hospital. It could be dangerous to yourself as well as others on the road. Call 911. Your cardiac care can begin right away rather than starting when you arrive at the Emergency Department.
Chest pain is not the only symptom people should recognize as a sign of a heart attack.
The professionals with the American Heart Association and McLeod Chest Pain Center list the following early warning signs everyone should know:
- A mild discomfort or nagging ache in the center of the chest
- Recurrent discomfort that feels like indigestion
- Discomfort that may increase in intensity
- More intense pain with exertion that goes away with rest
Sixty percent of all heart attack patients experience these early symptoms.