Warning Signs of Heart Attack, Stroke and Cardiac Arrest

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 with or without chest discomfort.

Other Signs 

may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headed-ness.


Spot a stroke F.A.S.T

  • Face Drooping Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm Weakness Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-9-9 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-9-9 and get them to the hospital immediately.


Sudden Loss of Responsiveness 

No response to tapping on shoulders.

No Normal Breathing

The victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.

If these signs of cardiac arrest are present, tell someone to call 9-9-9 or your emergency response number and get an AED (if one is available) and you begin CPR immediately.

If you are alone with an adult who has these signs of cardiac arrest, call 9-9-9 and get an AED (if one is available) before you begin CPR.

Use an AED as soon as it arrives.

Dial 9-9-9 Fast

Heart attack and stroke are life-and-death emergencies — every second counts. If you see or have any of the below listed symptoms, immediately call 9-9-9 or your local emergency response number. Not all these signs occur in every heart attack or stroke. Sometimes they go away and return. If some occur, get help fast! Today heart attack and stroke victims can benefit from new medications and treatments unavailable to patients in years past. For example, clot-busting drugs can stop some heart attacks and strokes in progress, reducing disability and saving lives. But to be effective, these drugs must be given relatively quickly after heart attack or stroke symptoms first appear. So again, don't delay — get help right away

Apr 17, 2020

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