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Warning Signs of Heart Attack and Stroke


Knowledge is power! The more you know about warning signs for heart attack and stroke, the better your chance for optimal outcomes should you or a loved one experience either of these events.  Become familiar with the following information:

Recognize the warning signs of a HEART ATTACK

  • Chest discomfort - An uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest.  Usually lasts for more than a few minutes, or may go away and come back.
  • Upper body discomfort - Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Other signs - Shortness of breath, cold sweats, lightheadedness, nausea.

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Recognize the warning signs of a STROKE

  • Sudden numbness or weakness - Usually affects the face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing - Either in one eye or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no know cause - "Worst headache of my life!"

If you think you are having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Click here for a printable PDF of the warning signs listed above, compliments of Southwest General's Heart & Vascular Institute.  If you are interested in a wallet-sized card of these warning signs, call the toll free 24-hour nurse practitioner support line at 1-877-SWG-BEAT (794-2328).

Information adapted from:

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