Early Heart Attack Care
Eighty-five percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack.
It's extremely important to know the symptoms and get help immediately when a heart attack is suspected. Heart attacks have early symptoms that can often be recognized and treated before the heart is severely damaged.
Seek immediate help for pain/pressure in the chest, arms, jaw or back and shortness of breath.
Early symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath while performing normal activities
- A burning pain in the chest should not be immediately dismissed as food-related.
- A crushing or squeezing pain or discomfort may occur in the chest, shoulders, neck and jaw during the onset of a heart attack. Seek immediate attention for this type of pain even if it comes and goes.
- Some feel anxiety and fear before a heart attack; this can be an early symptom, especially if combined with the other early heart attack symptoms.
A heart attack is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms, call 911 right away. Do NOT try to drive yourself to the hospital. Do NOT delay. You are at greatest risk of sudden death in the early hours of a heart attack.