Over a million Americans suffer from heart attacks every year. Despite what you may think, it isn’t always immediately obvious when you are in the grip of a heart attack. It’s more common for the signs and symptoms of a heart attack to be mistaken for something relatively minor, causing many people to delay treatment for longer than is considered medically safe.

Bearing this in mind, there are several warning signs that you or a loved one may be suffering a heart attack:

Chest Pain : This can be experienced as constant discomfort in the middle of the chest. It can present as intermittent pain as well. This is one of the most universal signs of heart attack in both men and women. Sufferers have described the sensation as squeezing, crushing, fullness or ripping type pain. If you feel pain of this nature, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Upper Body Discomfort: Pain in one or sometimes even both arms is not uncommon. You also may have discomfort in your jaw, back, stomach or neck during a heart attack.

Trouble Breathing: You may experience shortness of breath before or after you begin feeling chest discomfort.

Further Symptoms of Heart Attack

Other signs that you are suffering a heart attack may include nausea, breaking out in a cold sweat and a sense of panic.

Call 9-1-1

Many people put off calling for help hoping the situation will resolve itself. If you’re still experiencing symptoms after five minutes, it’s time to call an ambulance. The paramedics can provide treatment en route to the hospital, which can drastically reduce the damage done to your heart muscle, and even save your life.