A serious problem is that heart attack
pain is not distinctive. Unless the heart attack is massive, the pain is easily ignored as indigestion or arthritic shoulder pain
. While taking a history and examining a patient, doctors are trained to watch for "Levine's sign" where the patient clutches a clenched fist over the sternum while they describe the pain.
Here is a list from the website listed below
Warning signs of a heart attack:
In some, but not all, cases, the body will send warning signs that indicate a heart attack. These include:
uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain, or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than two minutes. This pain may be persistent, or may go away and return.
pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms
pain, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath
any chest discomfort
that causes anxiety or concern
any chest discomfort that is accompanied by lightheadedness
, fainting, or dizziness
any of the above symptoms that disappear with rest, then return with exertion
unexplained weakness or fatigue
palpitations, cold sweat, or paleness
Pain that lasts for 10 to 15 minutes while you are resting should also be evaluated immediately.