Symptoms Of a Heart Attack

Symptoms Of a Heart Attack

The symptoms of a heart attack include: chest pain: the pain is usually located in the centre of your chest and can feel like a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing pain in other parts of the body: it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms (usually the left arm is affected but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and abdomen shortness of breath nausea an overwhelming sense of anxiety (similar to having a panic attack) feeling light headed coughing vomiting wheezing The level of pain can vary significantly from person to person. For many people, the pain is severe and it has been described as feeling like 'an elephant was sitting on my chest'. However, this is not always the case. For others, the pain can be minor and is similar to that experienced during indigestion. Also, some women and older people do not experience any chest pain at all. It is not the level of chest pain that is important in determining whether you are having a heart attack. Instead, it is the overall pattern of symptoms that is important. The misconception that a heart attack always causes severe chest pain has led to many people dying needlessly. One American study found that a third of people who had a heart attack did not call an ambulance. Do not worry if you have any doubts about whether your symptoms indicate that you are having a heart attack. Assume that you are having a heart attack and dial 999 to ask for an ambulance immediately. Content provided by NHS Choices www.nhs.uk and adapted for Ireland www.hse.ie