It is extremely important to know the signs of a heart attack so that you can take quick action. The Heart and Stroke Foundation lists the following warning signs to look out for:

  • chest discomfort (pain, pressure, tightness, squeezing, burning or heaviness)
  • discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, or back
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • sweating
  • lightheadedness

Other symptoms you might experience include vomiting, fear, anxiety and cool, clammy skin.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these signals, you should:

  • Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately. If you can't make the call, have someone call for you.
  • Stop all activity. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  • If you take nitroglycerin, take the recommended dosage.
  • If the 9-1-1 operator advises it, chew and swallow one 325 mg ASA tablet (acetylsalicylic acid) or two 80 mg or 81 mg tablets. It is important to chew or crush the tablet so that the medication works quickly. Taking ASA at the first signs can reduce the risk of dying from the heart attack.

Review the warning signs with our "Warning signs of heart attack" tool.