About 735,000 Americans suffer heart attacks every year.
Do you know the signs of a heart attack? Recognizing them and acting immediately increase the odds of saving your life or that of someone you love.
Telltale symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Pain, mainly in the chest but also in the shoulders, neck, arms, back, upper abdomen, and even the teeth and jaw
- Heavy sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
One key sign is a feeling of fullness or clasping pain in the center of the chest. Survivors have compared it to the sensation of having an elephant stand on their chests.
Some people dismiss the symptoms of a heart attack as indigestion or abdominal discomfort. But it’s important to listen to your body and seek medical attention if necessary.
If you suspect someone is having a heart attack:
- Call 911
- Have the person take aspirin
- According to the American Heart Association, aspirin thins the blood, which prevents heart attack- and stroke-causing blood clots from forming.
People most at risk for heart attacks include those who have diabetes, are overweight or obese, drink heavily, have poor diets and/or don’t exercise.