Know the Warning Signs
Because you may not be diagnosed with coronary artery disease until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure, it’s vital to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss concerns with your physicians.
The American Heart Association provides the following information on warning signs.
Heart Attack Symptoms
- 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 lightheadedness.
Stroke Symptoms: How to 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 9-1-1
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
Cardiac Arrest Symptoms
- 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.