Heart Attack Symptoms
Common heart attack symptoms include:
•  DISCOMFORT, PRESSURE, A FEELING OF FULLNESS OR A SQUEEZING PAIN IN THE CENTER OF YOUR CHEST THAT LASTS FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES
•  PAIN EXTENDING BEYOND YOUR CHEST TO YOUR SHOULDER, ARM, BACK, OR YOUR TEETH AND JAW
•  FULLNESS, INDIGESTION, OR CHOKING FEELING (MAY FEEL LIKE HEARTBURN)
•  INCREASING EPISODES OF CHEST PAIN
•  PROLONGED PAIN IN THE UPPER ABDOMEN
•  SHORTNESS OF BREATH
•  RAPID OR IRREGULAR HEARTBEATS
•  IMPENDING SENSE OF DOOM
•  FAINTING
•  SWEATING, NAUSEA, VOMITING, OR DIZZINESS
•  EXTREME WEAKNESS, ANXIETY, OR SHORTNESS OF BREATH

Additional, or different, heart attack symptoms in women may include:
•  ABDOMINAL PAIN OR HEARTBURN
•  CLAMMY SKIN
•  LIGHTHEADEDNESS OR DIZZINESS
•  UNUSUAL OR UNEXPLAINED FATIGUE


Heart attack symptoms vary
Not all people who have heart attacks experience the same symptoms or experience them to the same degree. Many heart attacks aren't as dramatic as the ones you've seen on TV. Some people have no symptoms at all. Still, the more signs and symptoms you have, the greater the likelihood that you may be having a heart attack.

A heart attack can occur anytime — at work or play, while you're resting, or while you're in motion. Some heart attacks strike suddenly, but many people who experience a heart attack have warning signs and symptoms hours, days or weeks in advance. The earliest warning of a heart attack may be recurrent chest pain (angina) that's triggered by exertion and relieved by rest. Angina is caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the heart.

Many people confuse a heart attack with a condition in which your heart suddenly stops (sudden cardiac arrest). A heart attack is different from sudden cardiac arrest, which occurs when an electrical disturbance in your heart disrupts its pumping action and causes blood to stop flowing to the rest of your body.

When to see a doctor
During a heart attack, act immediately. Some people wait too long because they don't recognize the important signs and symptoms.

Take these steps:

Call for emergency medical help. If you even suspect you're having a heart attack, don't hesitate. Immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. If you don't have access to emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the nearest hospital. Drive yourself only as a last resort, if there are absolutely no other options. Driving yourself puts you and others at risk if your condition suddenly worsens.

Take nitroglycerin, if prescribed. If your doctor has prescribed nitroglycerin, take as instructed while awaiting the arrival of emergency medical personnel.

Take aspirin, if recommended. If you're concerned about your heart attack risk, ask your doctor if chewing an aspirin tablet if you have heart attack symptoms is a good idea. Taking aspirin during a heart attack could reduce the damage to your heart by making your blood less likely to clot. Aspirin can interact with other medications, however, so don't take an aspirin unless your doctor or emergency medical personnel recommend it.

What to do if you see someone having a heart attack
If you encounter someone who is unconscious from a presumed heart attack, call for emergency medical help. If you have received training in emergency procedures, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This helps deliver oxygen to the body and brain.

In 2010, the American Heart Association changed its guidelines on CPR. Regardless of whether you've been trained, you should begin CPR with chest compressions. Press down about 2 inches (about 5 centimeters) on the person's chest for each compression at a rate of about 100 a minute. If you've been trained in CPR, check the person's airway and deliver rescue breaths after every 30 compressions. If you haven't been trained, continue doing compressions only.

In the initial minutes, a heart attack can also trigger ventricular fibrillation, a condition in which the heart quivers uselessly. Without immediate treatment, ventricular fibrillation leads to sudden death. The timely use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) that shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm can provide emergency treatment before a person having a heart attack reaches the hospital.

Source: Mayo Clinic

If these signs are present CALL 911

Heart disease includes conditions affecting the heart, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. Keys to prevention include quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising.

A heart attack usually occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery — a blood vessel that feeds blood to a part of the heart muscle. Interrupted blood flow to your heart can damage or destroy a part of the heart muscle.
A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, was often fatal. Thanks to better awareness of heart attack signs and symptoms and improved treatments, most people who have a heart attack now survive.

Your overall lifestyle — what you eat, how often you exercise and the way you deal with stress — plays a role in your recovery from a heart attack. In addition, a healthy lifestyle can help you prevent a heart attack by controlling risk factors that contribute to the narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart.

Sources: WebMD.com, Mayo Clinic, American Heart Association