- Chest pain or discomfort in the upper body
Contrary to the movies, most people who have a heart attack don’t suddenly fall to the ground clutching their chest. Symptoms usually come on gradually, and people may describe an uncomfortable pressure, tightness, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for several minutes, or goes away and comes back. Sometimes the symptoms are more felt in the neck or arms. Women may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, back and jaw pain, and shortness of breath. It is not uncommon for people suffering from heart attacks to develop cold sweats.
A heart attack is a circulatory problem and is different from a heart attack, but the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. In cardiac arrest, a person is more likely to fall to the ground suddenly because the heart suddenly stops or starts beating abnormally. A defibrillator is required to re-strike, and hands-only CPR is required under “Survival” mode until emergency help arrives.
If you suspect someone is having a heart attack or cardiac arrest, call 911 immediately. Minutes and quick action can save lives.
- The worst headache of your life
Almost half of the world’s population suffers from some form of headache disorder. This is a huge headache. Trying to differentiate between dangerous headaches and mild headaches is a challenge doctors face every day.
But even with frequent headaches, there are several “red flags” or warning signs that should be taken seriously. If someone has a headache that they describe as “the worst headache of my life,” or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, such as neck stiffness, personality changes, or loss of function in any part of the body, they can call 911 or seek medical attention. (including droopy eyelids, speech, and balance).
Also, see your healthcare provider right away if:
you are over 50 and this is your first headache; or young, headaches interfere with your daily life
headache appears immediately after activities such as weight lifting, aerobics, jogging, sex; or headaches soon after a head injury
Your headaches get worse over time
you have a severe headache that seems to come from only one eye, and that eye is red
Your headache is accompanied by symptoms such as blurred vision, weight loss, and pain when chewing
headache after cancer.
- One side of the body is drooping or weak
About 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. That means one stroke every 40 seconds. A person’s chances of survival after a stroke are greatly increased if the symptoms are recognized quickly.
F.A.S.T. This is an easy way to remember sudden stroke symptoms.
F – Face drooping. Do you have drooping or numbness on one side of your face? Is a person’s smile uneven?
A – Arm weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Does one arm go down when both are raised?
S – Speech impairment. Speech slurred? Can they repeat simple sentences like “The sky is blue” correctly?
T – Time to call 911. Mark the time and get help. If anyone experiences any of these symptoms SAVE THE JOURNEY, FAST