Preventing Heart Disease and Heart Attack Educational Video. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs; Item #56-042N, September 2001;
The dramatic, moving stories of three heart attack survivors and their families illustrate the importance of heeding heart attack warning signs and seeking medical care quickly. They vividly convey how a real heart attack may differ from the stereotypical “movie heart attack” and how getting immediate treatment can save lives. The warm and sympathetic narration by an emergency department physician explains what a heart attack is, the treatments that can save lives if given quickly, why many heart attack victims delay seeking care, and how to make a heart attack survival plan. Useful for health fairs, medical waiting rooms, community groups, and home viewing.
Producer: National Institutes of Health; Keywords: hhs.gov; public_safety; Creative Commons license: Public Domain.
Heart Attack Warning Signs. A heart attack is a frightening event, and you probably don’t want to think about it. But, if you learn the signs of a heart attack and what steps to take, you can save a life–maybe your own. What are the signs of a heart attack? Many people think a heart attack is sudden and intense, like a “movie” heart attack, where a person clutches his or her chest and falls over. The truth is that many heart attacks start slowly, as a mild pain or discomfort. If you feel such a symptom, you may not be sure what’s wrong. Your symptoms may even come and go. Even those who have had a heart attack may not recognize their symptoms, because the next attack can have entirely different ones. Women may not think they’re at risk of having a heart attack–but they are.
Learn more about women and heart attack. It’s vital that everyone learn the warning signs of a heart attack. These are: Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort. Other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness. Learn the signs–but also remember: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, you should still have it checked out. Fast action can save lives-maybe your own.
After you learn more about heart attack, try a brief quiz to see if you know what to do if you or someone else has warning signs. How do you survive a heart attack? Fast action is your best weapon against a heart attack. Why? Because clot-busting drugs and other artery-opening treatments can stop a heart attack in its tracks. They can prevent or limit damage to the heart–but they need to be given immediately after symptoms begin. The sooner they are started, the more good they will do–and the greater the chances are for survival and a full recovery. To be most effective, they need to be given ideally within 1 hour of the start of heart attack symptoms. You can reduce your risk of having a heart attack—even if you already have coronary heart disease (CHD) or have had a previous heart attack. The key is to take steps to prevent or control your heart disease risk factors.
Six Key Steps To Reduce Heart Attack Risk; Taking these steps will reduce your risk of having a heart attack: Stop smoking; Lower high blood pressure; Reduce high blood cholesterol; Aim for a healthy weight; Be physically active each day. Manage diabetes.