The common symptoms of a heart attack (MI) are:
- crushing central chest pain or mild chest discomfort
- shortness of breath
- clammy, sweaty, and grey complexion
- nausea and vomiting
- a general feeling of being unwell
- a frightening sense that one is about to die.
The pain often travels from the chest to the neck, jaw, ears, arms and wrists. Sometimes, it travels between the shoulder blades, back or to the abdomen.
The pain can last anything from 5 minutes to several hours. Moving around, changing your position or resting doesnt stop or ease the pain. The pain may be constant or may come and go and feel like pressure, squeezing or fullness.
Some people do not feel any pain during a heart attack. This is known as a silent heart attack and tends to affect people with diabetes or those aged over 75 years.
There is evidence that up to 20 per cent of mild heart attacks are not diagnosed. This means that some people, because of previous undiagnosed attacks, may be suffering progressive damage to the heart muscle.