Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack can save your life, the life of a loved one, or even the life of a complete stranger. When it comes to a heart attack, time is everything. The sooner you get medical treatment, the better your chances of surviving a heart attack.

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If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these warning signs of a heart attack:

  • Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately. If you can't make the call, have someone call for you.
  • If you take nitroglycerin, take the recommended dosage.
  • Chew and swallow one 325 mg ASA tablet (acetylsalicylic acid) or two 81 mg tablets (low-dose ASA) if you are experiencing chest pain. It is important to chew or crush the tablet so that the medication works quickly. Chewing an ASA tablet at the first signs of a heart attack can reduce the risk of death. Other pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen will not help in emergency situations such as heart attack.
  • Rest by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive.

To protect yourself, learn the warning signs of a heart attack and what you should do, and to talk to your doctor about whether you're at risk.

It's not always easy to remember all the warning signs and what you should do. Be prepared - keep a copy of this information with you at home, at work, or in your wallet. Select and print the printer-friendly version of this information that's right for you.

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