Heart and Vascular Center

Warning Signs of Heart Attack

Learn the signs of a heart attack and the steps to take if one happens.

Warning Signs:

CHEST DISCOMFORT that can feel like uncomfortable pressure or squeezing, fullness or pain.

DISCOMFORT OR PAIN in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.


OTHER SIGNS may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea and lightheadedness.

WOMEN'S most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly: shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, back or jaw pain.

UNCERTAINTY IS NORMAL. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help.


Minutes matter! Don't wait longer than a few minutes (no more than 5) before calling for help.

If you or someone near you is experiencing these warning signs, don't wait. Call 9-1-1 and get to the Chest Pain Emergency Center at St. Mary. The Chest Pain Emergency Center is prepared with board-certified emergency physicians and cardiologists, specially trained nurses and therapists for your care. The most technically advanced equipment and procedures are available to ensure that you get the best in cardiac care. It is also a designated STEMI Receiving Center deemed by San Bernardino County and the Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency. STEMI stands for ST elevation myocardial infarction, a type of heart attack. These centers must have the protocols, technology and staff to show they consistently provide the needed care for a heart attack patient in 90 minutes or less.

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