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  Seton Health / St. Mary's Hospital
St. Mary's Hospital

Heart Attack Warning Signs


  • Pain, pressure or squeezing in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Radiating pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Breaking out in a sweat for no apparent reason, nausea/vomiting or severe indigestion with transient weakness
  • Unusual fatigue or sleeplessness
  • Pounding heartbeats, light-headedness or dizziness
  • Sensation of panic with a feeling of impending doom
  • Chronic or severe indigestion without burping, belching, heartburn, nausea or sour taste in the mouth

Not all of these warning signs occur in every attack. If you experience heart attack symptoms or recognize these symptoms in another, call 9-1-1 immediately. Remember — seconds count, so don’t delay. Heart attacks can mimic simple health conditions such as indigestion, panic attack, respiratory infection or sports injury.

Simple Causes of Chest Pain

  • Burping, belching, heartburn, nausea and a sour taste in the mouth usually accompany indigestion.
  • Heart palpitations usually accompany a panic attack, shortness of breath and anxiety.
  • Chest-wall or muscle pain from exercise or injury can be made worse when the sore area is pressed with a finger.
  • Breathing pain of respiratory infections can be made worse by coughing and deep breathing.

It’s important to know that any of these symptoms also can be present with a heart attack. Do not assume that you are just having indigestion or a panic attack. Get medical help right away.

Our Locations
Seton Health /
St. Mary's Hospital
1300 Massachusetts Avenue
Troy, NY 12180
Phone: (518) 268-5000

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