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Recognizing Signs of Heart Attack: Are You Prepared to Respond?

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Heart attacks can occur at any time as the body breaks into the cold sweat. The discomfort in the center of the chest can be dreading or life-threatening. If not recognized and treated on time, the results can be fatal.  It is crucial to know the symptoms and signs of heart attack so that you can respond quickly and potentially save someone’s life.

In this blog, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, what to do if you suspect someone is having a heart attack, and how to perform CPR if necessary.

To perform CPR effectively, you must learn CPR. The American HealthCare Academy offers a convenient online CPR training and certification course.

We offer CPR certifications for both medical and non-medical professionals. The modules are 100% virtual. There will be a quiz at the end of the program. You can download the certificate after completing the quiz. Call us at 1-888-277-7865 for more information.

By the end of this blog, you will get an idea about recognizing and responding to a heart attack, which could potentially save a life. So, let’s get started!

4 silent signs of a heart attack that you should not miss

While chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack, some silent signs can occur without any noticeable discomfort in the chest. Here are four silent signs of a heart attack that you should be aware of:

  1. Fatigue

Feeling exhausted for no apparent reason can be a sign of a heart attack. This is because the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the body when its arteries are narrowed or blocked.

  1. Shortness of breath

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, especially during physical activity or at rest, can be a sign of a heart attack. This is because the heart may not be able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the lungs and the rest of the body. Talk to your doctor to know whether an ECG can detect a heart attack.

  1. Nausea or vomiting

Feeling nauseous can be a sign of a heart attack, especially in women. These symptoms may occur alongside other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue.

  1. Jaw, neck, or back pain

Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back can be signs of a heart attack. This is because the nerves that supply blood to these areas are connected to the same nerves that supply it to  the heart.

Heart attack in women and men: Difference in symptoms

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for both women and men worldwide. However, women can experience heart attack symptoms differently than men. Here are some differences in heart attack symptoms between women and men:

  1. Chest pain

Men often experience a crushing or squeezing sensation in the chest during a heart attack, while women may experience milder chest pain or discomfort. Women are more likely to describe the pain as a pressure or tightness in the chest.

  1. Other symptoms

Women are more likely than men to experience other symptoms. These symptoms may occur without any chest pain. For example:

  • nausea
  • shortness of breath
  • vomiting
  • back or jaw pain
  1. Age

Women are more likely to experience a heart attack at an older age than men. The symptoms may be less obvious or easily dismissed as other health problems.

  1. Risk factors

Women are more likely to have underlying risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. To avoid a heart attack, live a healthy lifestyle.

How should you respond to a heart attack?

Responding quickly to a heart attack can save a life. Here are the steps to take if you or someone around you experiences the signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  1. Call 911 as soon as you observe any of the signs of a heart attack. Time is of the essence, and it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible.
  1. If the person is still conscious, help them sit or lie down in a comfortable position. If they have trouble breathing, help them sit up and lean forward.
  1. Help the person loosen any tight clothing, such as a tie or shirt collar, that may be restricting their breathing.
  1. Check the person’s pulse and breathing. If they stop breathing, start performing CPR.
  1. It is important to stay with the person until emergency medical help arrives. Reassure them and keep them calm.


Understanding the key differences in symptoms and risk factors of a heart attack in men and women can help save lives by recognizing the right signs of a heart attack and seeking appropriate medical attention. You can help a victim by performing CPR. Learn it today!