"Cómo detectar los síntomas de un infarto"

"How to detect the symptoms of a heart attack"

General description

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked or severely reduced. The blockage is usually due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the heart (coronary) arteries. Fatty deposits that contain cholesterol are called plaques. The process of plaque buildup is called atherosclerosis.

Sometimes a plaque can rupture and form a clot that blocks blood flow. The interruption of blood flow can damage or destroy a part of the heart muscle.

Heart attack is also known as myocardial infarction.

If a heart attack occurs, immediate treatment is necessary to prevent death. Call 911 or seek emergency medical attention if you think you are having a heart attack.


The symptoms of a heart attack vary. In some people, these symptoms are mild. Other people have severe symptoms. Some people have no symptoms.

Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest pain that may feel like pressure, squeezing, aching, or a squeezing or painful sensation.
  • Pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulder, arm, back, neck, jaw, teeth, or sometimes to the upper abdomen.
  • Cold sweat.
  • Fatigue.
  • Heartburn or indigestion.
  • Sudden lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Shortness of breath.

Women may have atypical symptoms, such as shooting or brief pain in the neck, arm, or back. Sometimes the first symptom of a heart attack is sudden cardiac arrest.

Some heart attacks happen suddenly, but many people have warning signs and symptoms hours, days, or weeks beforehand. Chest pain or pressure (angina) that persists and does not go away with rest may be an early warning sign. Angina is the result of a temporary decrease in blood flow to the heart.

When should you see a doctor?

Get help right away if you think you're having a heart attack. Take the following steps:

  • Call 911. If you think you are having a heart attack, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. If you don't have access to emergency medical services, ask someone to take you to the nearest hospital. Drive only if there is no other option.
  • Take nitroglycerin if it was prescribed by your health care provider. Take it as directed while you wait for emergency help.
  • Take aspirin, if your doctor recommends it. Taking aspirin during a heart attack might reduce heart damage by preventing blood from forming clots.

    Aspirin can interact with other medications, so don't take it unless your healthcare provider or emergency medical personnel tell you to. Don't delay calling 911 to take aspirin. Call the emergency number first.

What to do if you see someone might be having a heart attack

If a person is unconscious and you think they are having a heart attack, first call 911 or your local emergency number. Then check to see if the person is breathing and has a pulse. If the person is not breathing or you cannot find a pulse, begin to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) .

  • If you have not received training for the cardiopulmonary resuscitation , do the revival only with hands. That is, press the person's chest firmly and quickly (between 100 and 120 compressions per minute).
  • If you have received training for the cardiopulmonary resuscitation and you feel confident you can do it, start with 30 chest compressions before giving two rescue breaths.

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