Heart attack warning signs

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Warning signs may not be what you think.

They can vary from person to person, and they may not always be sudden or severe.

The one thing all heart attacks share in common is that the sooner you receive treatment, the less damage will be done to your heart.

Each year:

  • Around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack (1 heart attack every 10 minutes)
  • Almost 9000 Australians die of heart attack (1 life per 60 minutes)
  • 24 Australians died from a heart attack each day in 2013.

Call 000

If you experience the warning signs of heart attack for 10 minutes, if they are severe or get progressively worse, call Triple Zero (000) immediately and ask for an ambulance.

It’s OK if it’s a false alarm. That’s the best thing that could happen.

Too many people die from heart attack because they take too long to call an ambulance.

Act quickly when symptoms of heart attack happen. This can save your life and limit damage to your heart.

Treatment starts the minute you call. The operator can give you lifesaving advice and paramedics are trained to treat you from the moment they arrive.

Learn the warning signs

Although chest pain or discomfort are common symptoms of a heart attack, some people will not experience chest pain at all, while others will experience only mild chest pain or discomfort. Others may experience 1 symptom, while some experience a combination.

For healthy heart tips to avoid a heart attack, listen to
audio presentations in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Women: know your symptoms

Women often think these warning signs are not to do with their heart, so they don’t take action. Know your symptoms and when to call Triple Zero (000).

Learn more: Womens warning signs

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Performing CPR can help save a life — often the life of a family member or someone you know. We recommend that every adult and teenager learn this lifesaving skill.

Contact us to order CPR resources, including a CPR booklet, poster and wallet card.

Learn more: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (PDF)

Call our Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87.

If you think you may be having a heart attack, call Triple Zero (000) — the operator will work out if you need an ambulance. And if it's a false alarm, well, that's the best thing that could happen.

Heart attack warning signs personal stories

Get your free "Heart Attack Action Plan Pack"

Heart Attack Action Plan cutaway image

Learn what to do in the event of a heart attack. Your must-have pack contains:

  • A Warning Signs fact sheet
  • Action Plan fridge magnet
  • Three Action Plan wallet cards (to share with family or friends).

Your pack will arrive in the mail within 10 business days.

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Heart attack warning signs fact sheet

Will you recognise your heart attack?

The warning signs of heart attack can be varied and may not always be sudden or severe. You may have just one of these symptoms, or a combination of them. They can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse. Symptoms usually last for at least 10 minutes.

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