What are the important symptoms of a heart attack?
Chest pain is the most important symptom of heart attack. But heart attack can occur with other symptoms like undue fatigue, breathlessness, sweating etc. Pain can also occur at sites of radiation like the left arm, wrist, jaw or back. Sometimes a heart attack can be silent. In the Framingham Heart Study, almost 25% of the old heart attacks detected by new Q waves on routine ECG were silent. Confirmation of a heart attack is by getting an electrocardiogram and other investigations after a preliminary evaluation by a doctor. Sometimes an ECG can be normal in the early stages of a heart attack. Hence a repeat ECG is a must if the initial ECG is normal and the symptoms are suggestive. Whenever a heart attack is suspected, the person should be taken to the hospital immediately as early treatment can be life saving and reduce future disability. In case of heart attack, “time is muscle”, the earlier you treat, the more heart muscle you save from total destruction.