Be certain in uncertain times

Heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrests don’t stop for COVID-19.
During this uncertain time, the American Heart Association is working tirelessly to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in communities across the country.
Heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest symptoms are always urgent. Don’t hesitate to call 911. Emergency workers know what to do. And emergencies don’t stop for COVID-19.
Know the signs and symptoms.
Heart attack
• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes — it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
• Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
• Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
• Signs for women – Women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain. Some women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea / vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Remember to act F.A.S.T. during stroke
• Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
• Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
• Speech difficulty – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
• Time to call 911 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.
Cardiac arrest
• Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly.
• Within seconds a person becomes unresponsive, is not breathing or is only gasping.
• Survival depends on getting immediate CPR. If you don’t have formal training, learn the two easy steps to Hands-Only CPR.

Information provided by the American Heart Association.