How Long Does a Heart Attack Last?

How Long Does a Heart Attack Last?

April 7, 2021

Heart attacks can be life threatening if not treated immediately. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, but how long does a heart attack last? Heart attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Every situation is different.

No matter the situation, it is crucial to understand the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 immediately!

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, a heart attack is a plumbing problem. Someone suffering a heart attack can be responsive and their heart can still be beating.
Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack:
  • • Chest discomfort that feels like pressure or squeezing
  • • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms
  • • Pain or discomfort in the shoulder or upper back
  • • Pain or discomfort in the neck or jaw
  • • Shortness of breath
  • • Nausea
  • • Sweating, especially breaking out into a cold sweat
  • • Lightheadedness
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attacks in Women:
  • • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • • Weakness
  • • Fatigue
  • • Swelling of the ankles of lower legs
So, what do you do if you witness someone experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack? How do you help them? If you suspect someone is having a heart attack take the following steps:
  • • Call 9-1-1
  • • Encourage the person to rest or lie down while waiting for EMS
  • • Monitor the person and make sure they are responsive and breathing
  • • Do not drive the person to the hospital! Let EMS arrive and take them in the ambulance.
Heart attacks can get very bad, very quickly. If the person does go unresponsive and stops breathing, start CPR immediately and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) as soon as possible.
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