What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack occurs when an artery that carries blood to your heart becomes blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of your heart muscle supplied by the blocked artery begins to die. Damage to the heart muscle increases the longer you delay treatment.
Warning signs of a heart attack:
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
- Shortness of breath
Act Fast. Call 9-1-1!
- If you think you're having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 right away– not a friend.
- Calling 9-1-1 is the best way to get to the hospital.
- Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin life-saving treatment immediately.
- You’re likely to receive faster treatment at the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.
- Never drive yourself or have someone drive you to the hospital unless you have no other option.
Ways to prevent a heart attack:
- Stop smoking
- Treat high blood pressure
- Eat a healthy diet thatís low in fat, cholesterol and salt
- Exercise at least 30 minutes on most days of the week
- Maintain a healthy weight
- See your doctor for regular check-ups
- Take your medicines exactly as prescribed
- Manage your diabetes
- Warning signs of heart attack (pdf)
- Got high blood pressure?
- Women & Heart Disease
- Learn the ABCS of heart health