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What to do if ... you are having a heart attack

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. If you or someone you know is having a heart attack, Raj Chandwaney, M.D., an interventional cardiologist with Oklahoma Heart Institute, shares what you need to know.

What to do:

• Call 911 immediately.

• While waiting for an ambulance, you can chew or swallow four baby aspirin or one adult aspirin.

What not to do:

• Wait out symptoms. The heart muscle suffers damage as time progresses during a heart attack. Time is muscle and every minute counts.

• Drive yourself or have someone drive you to the hospital. EMS personnel can transport patients to the hospital more quickly and safely.

Symptoms of heart attack:

• Chest pain described as a pressure or tightness

• Shortness of breath

• Nausea and cold sweat

• Note: Symptoms can vary. Women are more likely to experience atypical symptoms during a heart attack than men.

If you experience any of these symptoms, or are around someone who is, please call 911 immediately.