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Recognize the Signs of Heart Attack and Stroke

Every day Peel Paramedics see patients who suffer symptoms of heart attack and stroke and wait too long to call 911 and get medical treatment.

According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, someone dies from heart disease or stroke every seven minutes in Canada. Over 17,000 Canadians die each year from heart attack and 14,000 from stroke.

February is Heart month and Peel Regional Paramedic Services and the Heart & Stroke Foundation want people to learn the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, how to perform CPR and call 911 if experiencing chest pain.

Heart attack warning signals

Learn to recognize the signs so you can react quickly to save a life.

  1. Pain
    • Sudden discomfort or pain that does not go away with rest
    • Pain that may be in the chest, neck, jaw, shoulder, arms or back
    • Pain that may feel like burning, squeezing, heaviness, tightness or pressure
    • In women, pain may be more vague
    • Chest pain or discomfort that is brought on with exertion and goes away with rest
  2. Shortness of breath - Difficulty breathing
  3. Nausea - Indigestion and/or vomiting
  4. Sweating - Cool, clammy skin
  5. Fear - Anxiety and/or denial

Stroke Warning Signs

Stroke can be treated. That’s why it is so important to recognize and respond to the warning signs.

  1. Weakness - Sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary
  2. Trouble speaking - Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary
  3. Vision problems - Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary
  4. Headache – Sudden, severe and unusual headache
  5. Dizziness - Sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs

If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911

Brad Bowie, public education officer for Peel Paramedics, demonstrates proper CPR technique.

Learn CPR

Eighty percent of cardiac arrests in Canada take place at home. If CPR is performed within the first few minutes, it can increase survival and recovery by 30% or more.

To learn more about how to receive CPR certification or about CPR courses, please visit the following organizations:

In an emergency, always call 9-1-1

Revised: Wednesday March 10 2010


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