If you suffer a heart attack and get emergency care immediately, the chances are very good that you’ll survive. But any delay in getting help increases the risk that you won’t. The longer you wait to make that call, the more muscle damage occurs.
In fact, most people don’t die from the heart attack itself; they die from the electrical malfunction that the heart attack causes. This malfunction, which is called ventricular fibrillation, can result in sudden cardiac death. The problem is that most people focus only on chest pain.
Remember, there are many other symptoms that can indicate a heart attack, including pain in the neck and shoulders, shortness of breath, and profound weakness. If you believe or even suspect you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately!
Do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital, or have someone else do it. An ambulance is necessary because paramedics will start procedures on the way to the hospital that could save your life.