Heart Attack Signs or Symptoms

Service:

If you have a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction) is a Medical Emergency

If you think you may be experiencing a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately so that treatment can start as soon as possible. Do not drive yourself or wait for a ride from a friend or family member. Have an ambulance take you to a hospital that is a cardiac receiving center right away.

Designated Cardiac Receiving Centers

Heart Attack Signs or Symptoms May Include:

  • Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath: May occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Signs/symptoms compiled from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Additional Heart Attack Signs or Symptoms Common in Women May Include:

Although chest pain is the most common symptom of a women's heart attack, women often experience vague chest discomfort frequently described as pressure, burning, tightness or an ache.

  • Heart palpitations or abnormally weak and/or rapid pulse.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting or a sick stomach.
  • Gray facial color.
  • Vomiting.
  • Indigestion.
  • Weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Shoulder blade pain.
  • Change in migraine pattern, migraine with aura.

If you or someone you're with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, call 9-1-1 right away.

Designated Cardiac Receiving Centers