Every year, more than 1 million Americans suffer from a heart attack- and about half of them die. Many people don’t recognize the signs of a heart attack or wait too long to get help, a decision that can cause death or a lifelong disability. UAB Medical West would like to remind its employees and the community to recognize the five major symptoms of a heart attack. A person’s chances of surviving a heart attack are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible.

If the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off, a heart attack can result. Cells in the heart muscle do not receive enough oxygen and begin to die. Having  high blood cholesterol, smoking, and having had a previous heart attack, stroke or diabetes can increase a person’s chances of having a heart attack. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart. That’s why it is so important to recognize the warning signs.
The five major symptoms of a heart attack are-
1.       Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back.
2.       Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
3.       Chest pain or discomfort
4.       Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
5.       Shortness of breath
Women may also experience other symptoms including nausea and vomiting, unexplained fatigue or abdominal pain. Remember, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call 9-1-1 immediately.
You may also perform a free heat health assessment by visiting http://mylifecheck.heart.org/.