What Are The First Signs Of A Heart Attack? How To Deal With It?

what are the first signs of a heart attack? what are the different signs in men and women? How to provide first aid treatment for someone having a heart attack? I will try to help you to handle this stressful situation.

If a person collapses in front of you, what will you do? Some passers-by avoid helping because they
just do not know how. Others are flinching from actions like mouth to mouth respiration.
Guidelines published in 2010 The American Heart Association set up a schedule for CPR procedures that any passerby can do.

There is no need to touch lips.




This article was written by Roy Shor, a former combat paramedic.

Unfortunately, many people die of heart attacks all the time, an affection that can be easily prevented with the right first aid techniques.

In fact, anyone who knows what are the first signs of a heart attack and how to perform first aid can significantly improve the chances of someone’s survival in cases of a heart attack, keeping the person alive until the paramedics arrive at the scene.What Are The First Signs Of A Heart Attack, CPR

At the end of the article, I will introduce to you my favorite first aid online courses program, I truly recommend checking them out.

What Are The First Signs Of A Heart Attack?

information that can turn out to be lifesaving in the case of a person that goes through a heart attack.

First of all, you need to know how to identify the signs indicating a heart attack.
Luckily, the body gives clear signs that something wrong is about to happen, so we can take action several minutes before the heart attack takes place, if we know how to interpret the signs that precede it.

A person that is the victim of a heart attack may experience shortness of breath, may feel a squeezing pain or uncomfortable pressure in the chest area, and may feel a pain that is not just in the upper abdomen area but also spreads to the limbs and neck as well.
Nausea, sweating, dizziness, and lightheadedness, even fainting, can also be signs of a heart attack.

While pain in the chest area can be experienced in many cases, there are situations in which a heart attack will not cause any kind of symptoms. But, regardless of how the heart attack occurs, knowing what to do is essential.

There are different signs for men and women that indicate a heart attack.
These are the signs according to the Israeli heart society.

What do you feel when you have a heart attack?

Signs of a heart attack in men




The symptoms of a heart attack vary from person to person, are not always clear and people do not always understand that they have a heart attack, so it is important not to ignore it when there are appropriate complaints.

In most cases, a heart attack results in intense pain in the chest, more in the left side.
The pain is usually dull and has a pressing nature and can be radiated to the shoulder, hand or jaw.

Sometimes the pain is accompanied by cold sweating, a feeling of suffocation, nausea, and weakness.
As noted, the complaints are not uniform and sometimes the feeling is of burning or stabbing pain and sometimes the pain only appears in the shoulder or arm.

The common to almost all people who have experienced it is that it is a very unpleasant and disturbing feeling that is hard to ignore.

Sometimes a heart attack also has warning signs – in the days before the attack, many people feel uncomfortable chest pain that comes and goes and it is sometimes getting worst when doing physical activity.

In other cases, the attack can occur abruptly and completely out of full health, and therefore a high level of suspicion is required.

What are the signs of a heart attack in men?




There is a major sign of a heart attack which can be added to other symptoms of heart attack.
Following is a list of physical signs of a heart attack + directions of evacuation to the emergency room:

A major sign of a heart attack:

A new event of pain or feeling of stress during rest, or of heartburn, in the chest, or the area between the upper abdomen and jaws,  when sometimes the feeling radiant to the left or appearing in the back area between the shoulder blades.
If these symptoms, or even one of them, lasting 10 minutes or more continuously or intermittently, there is a suspicion of a heart attack.

Other possible signs or symptoms of a heart attack include:

Shortness of breath, nausea, sweating or general weakness.

In any such case, an emergency evacuation is required by ambulance. Dial 911

it’s important to remember!

During a heart attack or fear of a heart attack, do not drive alone, do not be shy to seek help, do not wait more than five minutes, delaying treatment can cause great damage to your heart.

In women, it is a little different!

Heart attack symptoms in women




The typical characteristics of a heart attack – chest tightness, pain, and nausea – do not always appear in women who have a heart attack.

Many women do not know that there is another set of symptoms that if they recognize them in time it may save their lives.

Most women think that the symptoms of a heart attack are only: pain and pressure in the chest, shortness of breath and nausea.
But it turns out that these phenomena that appear in women and men are not exclusive.
Heart attacks in women can be different and it is very important to learn what are the signs that warn about it.

Symptoms of heart attack in women

“Typical” symptoms of a heart attack include pressure in the chest, compression sensation or stabbing on the left side of the chest. Some people describe it as if they had a punch to their chest or a vise squeezed their entire chest area.

In women, symptoms may be less “typical.” Although women may also feel pain or discomfort in the chest, many complain of nausea, dizziness, discomfort in the lower chest, a pressure in the upper abdomen or discomfort such as indigestion and upper back pain.

Women may experience all the common symptoms listed, some, or none of them when they have a heart attack.
In women, as in men, the most common symptom of a heart attack is a certain type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest.
But women tend more than men to suffer from signs and symptoms unrelated to chest pain:

  • Discomfort in the neck, shoulders, the upper part of the back or abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweat
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual and unexplained fatigue

Often, women are not aware that these symptoms can alert a heart problem and think of such things as heartburn, indigestion, arthritis or mental stress.
If they have shortness of breath, they simply tell themselves that they have to get back in shape or blame it on many hours of work or fatigue.




When do I suspect that I am having a heart attack?

On the one hand, it is important to identify and suspect a heart attack when it appears, but on the other hand, it is important to remember that most cases of chest pain originate from other things, and not necessarily indicates a heart attack, such as an anxiety attack or pain from a non-cardiac source, and it is important not to panic.

The risk of developing heart disease in 50 years old smoker with diabetes is much higher than a healthy 20 years old.
The risk factors known to develop sclerosis and heart disease are old age, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and, by age 60, the disease is much more common in men.

It should be understood that the more risk factors there are, the greater the likelihood that chest pain is associated with a larger cardiac event, and the suspicion should be higher.

In any case, if you experience symptoms as mentioned above and especially if you are at a risk group, you should immediately suspect a heart attack and act accordingly, as described below.

Panic attack vs heart attack

It is important to know that the symptoms of a panic attack are very similar to those of a real heart attack and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish them.

In both cases, the patient experiences a sense of suffocation, chest tightness, chest pain, chest fire, rapid pulse sensation, and sweating.
These symptoms are due to increased secretion of adrenaline to the bloodstream.
The best way to differentiate a panic attack from a heart attack is to be examined by a doctor and performing an ECG test.

How to provide first aid treatment for a heart attack?




First of all, dial 911 and make sure an ambulance is on its way.
Then, you will have to offer first aid in order to make sure that the victim stays alive until he or she will receive medical help.

Because it may take a few minutes for an ambulance to get to the scene, first aid is extremely important as a few minutes can make a huge difference when it comes to the survival chances of a heart attack victim.

If possible, the heart attack victim should chew an aspirin and swallow it. Just make sure that the person is not allergic to aspirin or the doctor did not recommend this drug.

Ask the victim if his or her doctor prescribed nitroglycerin, as it may be possible in case of people with heart disorders.
If it’s the case, the person should take nitroglycerin as indicated by the doctor and never more than recommended.

What to do if the person is unconscious? It’s possible for a person to lose its consciousness while having a heart attack, a situation in which you will need to apply CPR.

In case you are dealing with an unconscious person right from the start, make sure to announce it when calling 911.
The person that got your call may recommend you to start the CPR procedures, to keep the heart beating and the brain oxygenated until the ambulance gets to the victim.

If you never performed CPR, these are the steps for performing CPR:




  1. In case that the person is not breathing or breathing properly, try to check if you can wake him up by speaking and touching.
  2. If the person does not respond, call 911 or ask someone else to do so.
  3. Turn the person on his back.
  4. Start with a chest massage. The massage works like an artificial heart that pumps the blood that carries oxygen into the body, which helps keep the brain and other organs alive. Place the lower part of the palm in the center of the chest. Then place the other hand on the first, with the fingers of both hands folded.
    The chest should be pressed 100 times or more per minute.
    In order to achieve the right rhythm, the song “Stayin ‘Alive” (103 bits per minute) can be hummed in the head.
    The depth of pressure should be at least 5 cm in adults and children or 3.5 cm in toddlers.

You may also receive indications through the phone from the dispatcher, so don’t panic and do as told. Also, if you have an automated external defibrillator or AED in handy, use it according to its instructions.

So now you know what are the first signs of a heart Attack and how to provide first aid for a heart attack, we hope that you find this article useful and informative.

Knowing these basic principles might save lives, in case that you want to learn more about first aid and CPR there are great online first aid courses available, you can check my recommended online first aid courses here.

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