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What are the early symptoms of a heart attack?
While some heart attacks occur suddenly and violently, others begin and develop more discreetly. Either way, it’s not always easy to understand what’s going on. Therefore, it is important to recognize the first signs of infarction. In about two out of three cases, patients experience symptoms hours, days or even weeks before. What are the warning signs of a heart attack?
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Read also: How can you have a heart attack without noticing it?
Signs of a heart attack
Initial symptoms may be mild and come in waves, but they get worse over time. These warning signs are mainly chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, or increased fatigue. It can occur in the hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Here’s what to look for:
- Discomfort or pain in the chest would be a warning sign. The pain may last for more than a few minutes, then disappear and then reappear. It is usually a pressing, squeezing, or radiating pain.
- Shortness of breath or incontinence are also important warning signs of myocardial infarction. This may occur several days or even weeks before a heart attack, with or without chest pain.
- Unusual and increased fatigue is a symptom that mainly affects women.
- In the hours before a heart attack, pain or discomfort may occur in other parts of the body: one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Other less obvious symptoms can also indicate an impending heart attack: cold sweat, nausea, heartburn, dizziness (vertigo), and heart palpitations.
Read also: How do you recognize a cardiac arrest?
Symptoms differ between men and women
In addition, women often experience unusual fatigue in the weeks before a heart attack. Nearly half of patients suffer from sleep problems before the attack. They may have difficulty sleeping, wake up in the middle of the night, or feel tired despite getting enough sleep.
Read also: 8 possible symptoms of a heart attack in women
What to do in case of a heart attack?
It is best for anyone experiencing these symptoms to get a preventive checkup. Does anyone break down in front of you? Then immediately call emergency services and begin CPR if necessary. Acting quickly can save lives, so every minute counts.
Read also: How to revive someone?
Read also: Use of automated external defibrillator (AED) in cardiac arrest saves lives