Recognizing a Heart Attack - 4 Warning Signs
Schneck Medical Center - December 08, 2020
Let's be real: heart attacks are scary. They're something nobody wants to experience, but we can't ignore the reality that they could happen to anyone. In fact, according to the CDC, someone in the United States has a heart attack every 40 seconds.

That reality means we should all be prepared for what to do if you (or someone near you) is having one. Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack might just save someone's life--including your own. 

Know the Signs


You often see heart attacks portrayed as happening out of nowhere: someone clutching their chest, gasping for breath, and bending or falling over. Though some can be that sudden, most heart attacks start more mildly. 

These four warning signs could indicate the onset of a heart attack.

  1. Chest discomfort that feels like fullness, pressure, squeezing, or pain. It most often occurs in the center of the chest and either lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. 
  2. Pain or discomfort in areas of the upper body such as the neck, jaw, one or both arms, back, or stomach. 
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other symptoms such as nausea, a cold sweat, weakness, or lightheadedness.
Both men and women experience these symptoms. However, women are slightly more likely to experience shortness of breath and other physical symptoms such as nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. In any case, call 911 if you or someone nearby is experiencing these symptoms. 

Take Action


Heart attacks are unpredictable, but we know the cause: severe restriction of blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. Fortunately, we also know that you can take steps to lower your risk of having a heart attack. Small steps, like eating right and exercising 30 minutes a day, help keep your arteries clear so that blood can flow as it should. 

You can also ask your doctor to assess your risk. At Schneck Medical Center, we offer cardiovascular services such as the Cardiac Calcium CT Scan: a painless, safe, and accurate test that can assess heart attack risk. It's part of our commitment to providing you the highest level of care, and can be done withouth physician referral. 

Take action against heart attacks and schedule your scan today.