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A heart attack, also known as acute myocardial infarction, or AMI, is an emergency, but the condition that causes it usually takes years to develop. Over time, fatty substances collect on the walls of the heart's arteries. As these arteries become narrower, it's more likely that one will become fully clogged, causing a heart attack.
Call 911 for emergency medical services. Immediate medical care may keep the heart from stopping and may help minimize damage to the heart muscle.
Convince the victim to stop all activities.
Reassure the victim to keep him or her calm, so the heart uses less oxygen.
Loosen any clothing that may restrict breathing, such as a tie, collar, or belt.
Perform CPR if necessary.
The warning signs of a heart attack can include any of the following:
Chest pain or constriction, like a belt squeezing the chest
Heaviness in the chest area, as if a heavy weight is resting on the chest
Heaviness or pain radiating to the arms, shoulders, jaw, or teeth
Shortness of breath
Pale or gray skin tone and sweating; cool, damp skin
Symptoms that aren't relieved by heart medication
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