Know the signs. Be Prepared.
Don't wait longer than 5 minutes!
The care you need after a heart attack
Heart Attack Symptoms & Warning Signs
Don't neglect these warning signs of a heart attack.
Fast care is crucial! If you have any heart attack symptoms that last more than five minutes, don't delay!
- Chest discomfort. This can be discomfort in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes, or it may go away and return. It can feel like a pain, pressure, squeezing or fullness.
- Discomfort or pain in other parts of your upper body, including one or both arms, your back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Nausea, light-headedness or a feeling of stomach indigestion (cramping).
- Breaking out in a cold sweat.
- Shortness of breath. This feeling often accompanies chest discomfort but can occur beforehand.
Women's heart disease symptoms are different.
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Learn more about the symptoms of women's heart disease.
NOT ALL OF THESE SIGNS INDICATE A HEART ATTACK. IF YOU HAVE ONE OR MORE OF THESE WARNING SIGNS, DON'T WAIT LONGER THAN FIVE MINUTES BEFORE CALLING 911.
Time Matters During a Heart Attack
In a cardiac emergency, receiving fast treatment means saving more precious heart muscle, increasing your chances for survival. If an EMS paramedic determines that a severe heart attack is occurring, Cardiac Alert helps coordinate all of the healthcare experts needed from the ambulance to the Emergency Department to the cardiac catheterization lab for the patient's complete care, saving precious seconds to diagnose and treat these life-threatening heart conditions.
Iowa Methodist and Iowa Lutheran are Chest Pain Accredited. Chest Pain Centers better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.
Our experienced, board-certified emergency physicians trained in heart disease and diseases of the circulatory system are available 24 hours a day with the most up-to-date technology supporting them. With immediate access to surgical services, cardiac catheterization laboratories and many diagnostic services, our hospitals provide patients with the very best in emergency cardiac care.
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines offers Level I cardiac rehabilitation, at Iowa Lutheran, Iowa Methodist, and Methodist West and Level II and III rehabilitation at Iowa Lutheran. The programs are designed to help patients return to their optimum level of health. The cardiac rehabilitation staff works along side physicians to help patients with heart disease recover faster and feel better.
Find out more about Cardiac Rehabilitation.