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Heart Disease Resources

The following are links to handouts that offer information on heart disease.

These resources are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be, or to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment. 

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Common Heart Attack Warning Signs

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. This feeling often comes along with chest discomfort, but it can occur before the chest discomfort. 

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling weak, nausea or lightheadedness. 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 pain. 

What To Do

At the first sign of heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately! You must act quickly to prevent disability or death. 

If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don't wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help. 

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical personnel can begin treatment even before you get to the hospital. They also have the equipment and training to start your heart beating again if it stops. 

People who experience a heart attack need emergency care such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or electrical shock (defibrillation). That’s why you need to act quickly by calling 9-1-1 once you notice the signs and symptoms of heart attack. A person's chances of surviving a heart attack are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible. 

Bystanders can perform hands only CPR or use a defibrillator to help the victim until emergency medical personnel arrives. Remember to use the chain of survival.

Remember, the chances of surviving a heart attack are greater when emergency treatment begins quickly.