Each year millions of people have heart attacks, which is a very serious condition. Many people have permanent heart damage or die because they don't get help immediately. It's important to know the symptoms of a heart attack and call for immediate medical help if someone is having them.
Those symptoms include:
- Chest discomfort - pressure, squeezing, or pain
- Shortness of breath
- Discomfort in the upper body - arms, shoulder, neck, back
- Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating
These symptoms can sometimes be different in women.
Most heart attacks happen when a clot in the coronary artery blocks the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. Often this leads to an irregular heartbeat - called an arrhythmia - that causes a severe decrease in the pumping function of the heart. A blockage that is not treated within a few hours causes the affected heart muscle to die.