Heart Attack, Stroke and Cardiac Arrest Warning Signs
Act in Time
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have
launched a new "Act in Time" campaign to increase people's awareness of heart attack
and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms.
Find the links here.
Dial 9-1-1 Fast
Heart attack and stroke are life-and-death emergencies -- every second counts. If you see
or have any of the listed symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1. Not all these signs occur in
every heart attack or stroke. Sometimes they go away and return. If some occur, get help
fast! Today heart attack and stroke victims can benefit from new medications and
treatments unavailable to patients in years past. For example, clot-busting drugs can
stop some heart attacks and strokes in progress, reducing disability and saving lives. But
to be effective, these drugs must be given relatively quickly after heart attack or stroke
symptoms first appear. So again, don't delay -- get help right away!
Coronary heart disease is America's No. 1 killer. Stroke is No. 3 and a leading cause of
serious disability. That's why it's so important to reduce your risk factors, know the warning
signs, and know how to respond quickly and properly if warning signs occur.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one
doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or
discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before
getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
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
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort.
But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other
common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw
If you or someone you're with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the
other signs, don't wait longer than a few minutes (no more than 5) before calling for
help. Call 9-1-1... Get to a hospital right away.
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency
medical services staff can begin treatment when they arrive -- up to an hour sooner than
if someone gets to the hospital by car. The staff are also trained to revive someone
whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually
receive faster treatment at the hospital, too.
If you can't access the emergency medical services (EMS), have someone drive you to
the hospital right away. If you're the one having symptoms, don't drive yourself, unless
you have absolutely no other option.
Stroke Warning Signs
The American Stroke Association says these are the warning signs of stroke:
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don't delay! Immediately call
9-1-1 or the emergency medical services (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with
advanced life support) can be sent for you. Also, check the time so you'll know when the
first symptoms appeared. It's very important to take immediate action. If given within
three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability
for the most common type of stroke.
referenced by: www.americanheart.org
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