Am I Having a Heart Attack?

Both stroke and heart attack are medical emergencies and fast, accurate response is critical.

If you suspect that you’re having a heart attack, call 911 immediately and insist on being taken to the closest emergency medical facility, by ambulance. 

If you aren’t sure that what you’re feeling are heart attack symptoms, call 911 anyway.

The faster you act, the more likely you are to be treated in time and enjoy total recovery. The longer you wait, the more permanent the damage to your heart muscle. 

Rapid expert intervention is of critical importance, and begins in the ambulance.

Going to the hospital by ambulance, rather than by car, improves your chances for a successful recovery because an ambulance is essentially a hospital on wheels staffed by experts who can

  • assess your condition
  • communicate with the hospital so no time is wasted in preparing for your arrival
  • start potentially life-saving treatment immediately before you reach the hospital

Every second counts when you're having a heart attack or stroke

Irregular heart rhythms that can occur during a heart attack may cause quick death if you’re not

  • on a heart monitor
  • being given necessary medications
  • treated with the right equipment, such as a defibrillator

When a coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood clot and blood can’t reach the heart muscle, the muscle begins to die. Called a STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction), it’s diagnosed in the ambulance with an EKG (electrocardiogram). 

To restore blood flow and minimize damage to the heart muscle, fast action is required.

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