Could your loved one be having a heart attack?

When one or more of the arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked or clogged with cholesterol build-up or a blood clot, a heart attack can occur. Symptoms vary from person to person but all caregivers should be aware of what to look for and when to alert the emergency medical system.

The most common sign is sudden chest pain or discomfort that starts in the center of the left side of the chest. The pain is usually described as heavy pressure squeezing,, indigestion or heartburn. Because one or more arteries may be blocked, another sign may be tingling in the arm, pain in the neck or back, [top part of the] stomach or jaw.

Other signs associated with clogged arteries include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden sweating

Women may not present with the typical signs of chest pain but may complain of fatigue, shortness of breath. Also, those with diabetes may complain of shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea instead of chest pain.

If you suspect your loved one is having a heart attack, call 911. The only way to cure a heart attack is to get the blood flowing back to the heart. The sooner emergency help arrives the less damage there will be to the heart.