Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

The Heart Hospital at Saint Francis provides critical care for heart attack and cardiac arrest patients throughout Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma. Because reacting quickly can save a life, it's important to know the warning signs of a heart attack and cardiac arrest. If you are experiencing any of the warning signs below, call 911 immediately - don't attempt to drive yourself.

Signs of a Heart Attack

Heart attack symptoms may come and go, but none should be ignored. Men and women commonly experience heart attacks differently so it is important to know the difference and seek help immediately.

Heart Attack Warning Signs - Men

Common heart attack warning signs in men include:
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness - these may occur with other symptoms of discomfort or on their own.
  • Chest discomfort, most often in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. It may stop then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort or pain in the upper body, most often felt in the arms, shoulder, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath may accompany the chest or upper body discomfort. It may come and go and could occur before any chest or upper body discomfort is felt.

Heart Attack Warning Signs - Women

It is important to note that women often experience NO chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Because of this, women need to be aware of other "flu-like" symptoms that can indicate an impending heart attack. These include:
  • Pain that spreads to the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or arms
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Clammy or sweaty skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness or fatigue

Signs of Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest can strike immediately and without warning. Signs the heart has stopped beating include:
  • No normal breathing for a period of several seconds
  • No signs of circulation, movement or coughing
  • Sudden loss of responsiveness and no response to gentle shaking

Suspect Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest? Call 911!

If you think you or a loved one is experiencing a heart attack or cardiac arrest call 911 immediately! The emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our skilled heart doctors offer a comprehensive range of cardiology services and support heart attack recovery through our Cardiac Rehab program.

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