A heart attack may be sudden and intense, according to the American Heart Association. Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening.
* Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. You may feel uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
* Discomfort in other upper body areas: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
* Shortness of breath: This feeling often comes along with chest discomfort, but it can also happen without chest discomfort.
* Other signs may include: breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
If you or someone you're with has one or more of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately and get to the hospital right away.
If you're the one having symptoms and you can't access emergency medical services (EMS), have someone drive you to the hospital right away. Don't drive yourself unless you have absolutely no other options.
Information about the American Heart Association is available online at www.heart.org.