Be aware of heart attack warning signs

Be aware of heart attack warning signs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — February is American Heart Month. The National Institutes of Health reports that more than 1 million people in the United States have a heart attack each year. 

Of the people who die from heart attacks, about half die within an hour of their first symptoms and before they reach the hospital. 

When a heart attack happens, delay in treatment can be deadly. It is important to learn the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack and know the single most important thing you can do to save a life: Call 911 immediately for emergency medical care.

According to the American Heart Association, warning signs of a heart attack may include:

• Chest discomfort that feels like pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of the chest

• Upper body discomfort that extends beyond the chest to one or both arms, back, shoulders, neck and jaw

• Unexplained shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort

• Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, cold sweats, light-headedness or sudden dizziness, nausea and vomiting

Chest pain and discomfort are the most common heart attack symptoms for both men and women. But women may experience other common symptoms. These include shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back and jaw pain.

Quick action can save a life. If you or someone you are with experiences chest discomfort or other heart attack symptoms, call 911 immediately. Do not wait more than five minutes to make the call. 

Contacting Emergency Medical Services as soon as possible will allow for the administration of clot-busting and artery-opening medications that can help stop a heart attack.

During the month of February, Civilian Health Promotion Services will be conducting educational briefings on heart disease prevention and the warning signs of a heart attack. 

For more information regarding CHPS activities for American Heart Month, visit or contact the Hill AFB CHPS office at 801-586-9586.

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