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Symptoms of a Heart Attack



heart risk assessment

The importance of immediate medical treatment

This year, between four and five million Americans will be assessed in the emergency department for chest pain. Of these, about 1.5 million will be diagnosed with a heart attack. Early diagnosis and treatment of a heart attack significantly reduces the potential for death. It is very important to seek medical treatment immediately when the signs and symptoms of a heart attack occur.

Symptoms of heart attack

Heart attack symptoms include:

  • Pressure or crushing pain in the center of the chest that may radiate down the left arm or into the jaw area;
  • Sweating;
  • Nausea; and/or
  • Shortness of breath.


Any chest pain that lasts more than 10 minutes could be a sign of a heart attack. If you are experiencing such pain, please go to the nearest emergency department.

Although chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack, it can also result from other medical problems. Non-heart-related causes of chest pain can include indigestion, gallbladder attacks, pleurisy, muscle strains, a broken rib, viral infections or a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. Some of these problems are serious, but others are not. Baptist Health Louisville's Emergency Department has the resources to care for them all.