Heart Attack Symptoms

Be familiar with common signs and symptoms of a heart attack. You may experience:

  • Chest pain and pressure in the center of your chest, which might feel like heartburn or a tight, painful band squeezing your chest
  • Pain that radiates to your shoulders, neck, or arms constantly or comes and goes in waves
  • Numbness and tingling in your arms, especially the left one
  • Cold sweat with lightheadedness and shortness of breath
  • Nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting
  • Fainting, weakness or fatigue, especial in women and older adults
  • Mental confusion or disorientation in older adults

Symptoms can be different for men and women. Women are more likely to experience jaw pain, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath than men.

When to Call 911

Get heart attack emergency care right away by dialing 911 if:

  • The person is not breathing
  • The person is unconscious or not responding to questions
  • The person has sudden, massive chest pain

Begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until an ambulance arrives.

Immediate Care Helps You Survive 

The chances of surviving a heart attack increase dramatically if you get medical help when symptoms first appear. Yet most people wait three hours to go to an emergency room after symptoms start.

Quick Treatment 

Most heart attack patients receive treatment within 60 minutes of their arrival at AnMed Medical Center. That’s well below the American College of Cardiology's 90-minute benchmark.

Our team works closely with emergency medical technicians to diagnose heart attacks after you call 911. When you reach our doors, the Heart Attack Alert Team confirms your diagnosis using blood tests, electrocardiogram (EKG) and other tests as needed. Our emergency medicine doctors and nurses are certified in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), and they work with cardiologists so that you receive the best possible care.

Heart Attack Treatments

You’ll get the appropriate heart attack treatment quickly, and it may include:

  • Angioplasty – Inserts a tiny tube (stent) into an artery to open it wider, allowing blood to flow more freely and stopping your heart attack 
  • Bypass surgery – Reroutes blood around clogged vessels 
  • Medications, including aspirin, antiplatelet agents, thrombolytics (to reduce clots and dissolve existing clots) and pain relievers

Do You Need Surgery to Treat a Heart Attack?

An AnMed surgeon may discuss surgery, minimally invasive procedures and nonsurgical options with you following your heart attack. Some heart attacks are mild and may not need surgery to repair the damage. The amount of damage to the heart muscle during a heart attack depends on how long an artery is blocked.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Improve your cardiovascular health after a heart attack with education and supervised exercise in the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at AnMed.

High-Quality Treatment Recognition

Feel confident you’ll get the right treatment at the right time at AnMed Medical Center, which earned:

  • Chest Pain Center with PCI accreditation from the American College of Cardiology for providing rapid, effective treatment
  • American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for following high care standards and improving survival and outcomes for patients with the most severe type of heart attack
  • American College of Cardiology Foundation's 2020 NCDR ACTION Registry-GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award for reaching a higher care standard for heart attack treatment

Ways to Prevent a Heart Attack

Find out how to live a healthy lifestyle to help lower your risk of a heart attack.