Symptoms and Signs of Early Warning Symptoms and Signs of a Heart Attack

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 4/14/2022

Doctor's Notes on Early Warning Symptoms and Signs of a Heart Attack

A heart attack (also termed a myocardial infarction) occurs when one or more blood vessels in the heart are partially or completely blocked. Signs and symptoms of a heart attack are

Some people may develop other symptoms such as heart palpitations, a painful jaw, and pain in the shoulders and/or arms. Women with heart attacks may also experience signs and symptoms such as extreme weakness and/or fatigue. If you or someone near you is experiencing these signs and symptoms, call 911.

The cause of heart attacks is partial or complete blockage of one or more blood vessels in the heart (usually by a blood clot) that results in inadequate blood and/or oxygen delivery to the heart muscle that becomes damaged and then may die.

What Are the Early Treatments for a Heart Attack?

Call for help. Call 911 as a heart attack is a medical emergency. If the person is unconscious, begin CPR (with about 100-120 chest compressions per minute). If an AED (automated external defibrillator) is available, follow the instructions printed on the device. The goal in treatment of heart attacks is to restore blood flow to the heart. Medications and surgery can help do this, too:

Heart attacks may be treated by surgery.

  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery

Your doctors can help you to determine which treatment plan is best for you.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.