CPR First Aid

The Top Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms: First Aid Tips to Save a Life

The Top Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms First Aid Tips to Save a Life

A heart attack’s different signs and symptoms may help us identify it early, call for emergency help, and perform a first aid response if possible. In doing so, early treatment of the heart attack may be done, which is the leading cause of hospitalisation and death in the country, according to the Heart Research Institute. This institute has been performing groundbreaking cardiovascular research that is recognised internationally.

Signs of a heart attack might worsen over time and can appear without warning.Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Following are the heart attack signs according to the Australian Heart Foundation. It has been a trusted peak body funding heart-related research projects since 1959.

  • Dizziness.
  • Light-headedness or feeling faint.
  • Nausea, indigestion, or vomiting.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sweating.

One of these signs of a heart attack may occur alone or with another for at least 10 minutes. According to the same foundation, it may reoccur and worsen every time. They also state that there may be no warning signs, and the heart attack might not be picked up until later down the track.

Signs of a Heart Attack in Women

Unfortunately, women are more likely to experience the above heart attack signs. Biologically, women have smaller hearts and arteries than men. This increases the chance of coronary artery disease developing differently and diffusingly. Aside from those listed above, the following are the signs of a heart attack in women:

  • Jaw, shoulder, or back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing

Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Below are heart attack symptoms according to Heart Research Australia, an organisation established in 1986 by Royal North Shore Hospital cardiologists.

  • Tightness on the centre of the chest which becomes more severe and does not go away.
  • Jaw and neck pain.
  • Choking sensation.
  • Arm, shoulder, chest, and/or back pain.
  • Similar sensations to heartburn.
  • Sudden difficulty in breathing.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Cold sweat

If any of these occur in anyone, the organisation states that it is best to call triple zero immediately for St John ambulance.

Symptoms of a heart attack as listed by Heart Research Australia, established 1986.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women

The same institute states that there are also other symptoms of a heart attack that may not be related to chest pain. Unfortunately, these are experienced by women more often than men:

  • Discomfort in the body (usually in the neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdomen).
  • Breathlessness.
  • Unwellness.
  • Discomfort in one or both arms with pain and/or tightness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Heartburn.
  • Indigestion
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness.
  • Fatigue.

These other symptoms are said to occur in women when they rest, sleep, or when stressed.

Who is More Likely to Experience the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Heart Research Institute identifies atherosclerosis as the underlying cause of a heart attack. It may happen to anyone who may have the below risk factors:

  • Men aged 45 years old and over; Women aged 55 years and above.
  • Family history of a heart attack.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Diabetes.

Some of these risk factors are unchangeable, while others are manageable. Still, these may cause someone to be at a greater risk of a heart attack. If you, a family member, a workmate, or someone in the community fall among any of these categories, it may help to have someone know what to do when signs and symptoms of a heart attack occur.

Identify risk factors for heart attacks to help those at risk.

What are the Causes of Heart Attack?

One of the articles found on the website of St John Ambulance explains that this medical emergency occurs due to a blockage in the arteries to heart muscles. Plaque buildup and blood clots cause this which prevents blood vessels from transporting blood to the part of the heart.

This condition also has a clinical term called myocardial infarction.

What to do When Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack Occur

As mentioned above, calling 000 for emergency help is advised if any signs and symptoms occur in anyone. Performing the following first aid practices may also help treat a patient while waiting for an ambulance. Multiple resources that provide fact sheets for heart attacks have the same instructions.

  1. Follow DRSABCD.
  2. Have the person sit or lie in a comfortable position.
  3. Ask the person to explain their symptoms.
  4. For medical help, an ambulance is needed if symptoms are severe, continue to develop, or last for more than 10 minutes. Follow the advice of the operator until medical assistance arrives.
  5. Loosen any tight clothing.
  6. If the person has a prescribed medication from a healthcare provider (such as a tablet for angina or nitroglycerin), assist them in taking it
  7. Check that the person does not have an aspirin allergy and is allowed to take aspirin. If it is safe for them to take, provide the casualty with one aspirin tablet (300mg).
  8. Reassure the person until the ambulance arrives.
  9. Monitor and record symptom development.

If the person is unconscious or is falling into unconsciousness:

  1. Place the person into the recovery position.
  2. Follow DRSABCD and prepare to give compressions.

First aid training teaches the proper execution of the above steps.

How to Perform the First Aid for a Heart Attack

To correctly perform the above-mentioned heart attack first aid management, enrollment in a  first aid course at 191 Reservoir Rd Modbury 5091 may be done. In doing so, the signs, symptoms, or even the heart attack itself may be managed before emergency help is available to do further treatments.

Is Heart Attack the Same with Cardiac Arrest?

According to St John Ambulance Australia, these life-threatening heart diseases have different causes. A blockage of the blood flow leads to a heart attack while malfunctioning of the electrical impulses results in cardiac arrest. So, each has its set of symptoms and appropriate response.

What are the Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest may start with passing out and becoming unconscious.

What is the First Aid For Cardiac Arrest?

It’s best to call an ambulance, do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) if available.

How to Prevent Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest?

Healthdirect, a government-recognised health information service, recommends improving your heart health with a healthy diet, exercise, and managing cholesterol.


Knowledge about its signs and symptoms may help prevent a heart attack. When these are recognised, the necessary steps may be taken immediately. It calls 000 for emergency help and performs first aid response to help manage it while waiting for an ambulance. In doing so, treatment for heart attack may be done, which is considered a leading cause of death in the country.



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