In the U.S., one person dies from a heart attack every 40 seconds.

A heart attack happens when part of the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood flow. The more time that goes on without treatment to restore blood flow, the heart muscle has a greater chance of being damaged.

Did you know that 85 percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack? Instead of driving yourself — or having a loved one drive you to the hospital — you need to call 911 immediately if you think you’re experiencing any heart attack symptoms. The quicker we can help you — the better your heart will be.

Recognize the symptoms of a heart attack

According to the American Heart Association, here are the most common early warning signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest discomfort: An uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain that may last for several minutes or comes and goes.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: Pain or discomfort could be in both arms, the back, new, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath: This could happen with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs: These could be a breaking out into a cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness, back pain or jaw pain.