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If you are having a heart attack, which happens when parts of the heart do not receive enough blood flow, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
Chest pain. Pain in the center or left side of the chest is one of the most common signs of a heart attack. You may feel a tightness, fullness, or squeezing sensation that can last for several minutes.
Discomfort in the upper body. This can include pain in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, back, and stomach.
Shortness of breath. While this symptom usually accompanies chest pain, it can occur before the discomfort starts.
Lightheadedness. In combination with other symptoms, feeling as though you are about to pass out is a common indicator of a heart attack.
Heart palpitations. You may begin to feel irregular or skipping heartbeats.
Heart attack symptoms can happen on and off, or continuously over the course of a few minutes or a few hours. Chances are, if you have been experiencing chest pain for several days or weeks, it is not related to a heart attack.
Heart failure happens when the muscles in the heart are too weak to pump blood as well as they should. This mostly occurs after other conditions have weakened the heart.
If you see somebody having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Have them chew and swallow an aspirin, which helps prevent blood clots if they are conscious. If they lose consciousness, administer CPR or follow the instructions on an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is immediately available.
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