Carilion Clinic: People With Heart Attack Symptoms Need to Call 911 Sooner

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Monday, March 31, 2008

People With Heart Attack Symptoms Need to Call 911 Sooner

Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack is important... but that's just the first step. Calling 911 quickly can get you to the hospital for treatment before the attack causes major damage. With Carilion's Field Heart Alert program, treatment can begin as soon as the rescue squad reaches you.

Click below for a recent story by WSLS anchor Karen McNew on the subject.


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Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Chest pain is a major symptom of heart attack. However, some people may have little or no chest pain, especially the elderly and those with diabetes. This is called a silent heart attack.

The pain may be felt in only one part of the body or move from your chest to your arms, shoulder, neck, teeth, jaw, belly area, or back.

The pain can be severe or mild. It can feel like:

  • Squeezing or heavy pressure
  • A tight band around the chest
  • Something heavy sitting on your chest
  • Bad indigestion

Pain usually lasts longer than 20 minutes. Rest and a medicine called nitroglycerine do not completely relieve the pain of a heart attack.

Other symptoms of a heart attack include:

Studies have shown that women may have undiagnosed warning signs weeks, months, or even years before a heart attack. Women's symptoms may be different than men.