1 Minute Learning

Heart attack warning signs

Thousands of Canadians die from heart attacks every year because they don’t receive medical treatment quickly enough. Learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack so you can react quickly to save a life It is important to understand that warning signs can vary from person to person and they may not always be sudden or severe. Although chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack in both men and women, some people will not experience chest pain at all, while others will experience only mild chest pain or discomfort. Others may experience one symptom, while some experience a combination.

num1 Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
num2 Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
num3 Shortness of breath
num4 Sweating
num5 Nausea
num6 Light-headedness

If you are experiencing any of these signs, you should:

  • CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately, or have someone call for you. Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone at all times.
  • Stop all activity and sit or lie down, in whatever position is most comfortable.
  • If you take nitroglycerin, take your normal dosage.
  • If you are experiencing chest pain, chew and swallow one adult 325 mg tablet or two 80 mg tablets of ASA(acetylsalicylic acid, commonly referred to as Aspirin®). Pain medicines such as acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (commonly known as Advil®) do not work the same way as ASA (Aspirin) and therefore will not help in the emergency situation described above.
  • Rest comfortably and wait for an ambulance with emergency medical personnel to arrive.

QUICK ACTION SAVES LIVES