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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Warning Signs

Contact the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention

If you have a heart attack or stroke, you are more likely to survive if you know the warning signs. If these warning signs are present, CALL 9-1-1.

Heart Attack 

You may have one or more of the following signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest discomfort—You may feel uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest.  It may last a few minutes or it may go away and come back.
  • Upper body pain—You may have pain or discomfort in one or both arms, that spreads to the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath—This can occur before or along with chest discomfort.
  • Other symptoms—You may also break out in a cold sweat; have nausea and vomiting, anxiety, weakness, or heartburn.

Women may have different symptoms of a heart attack than men. Women may have:

  • Heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Heart flutter
  • Heavy sweating
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite


The F.A.S.T. test is an easy way to remember these symptoms. F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • F means Face—If one side of the face droops, it’s a sign of a possible stroke.
  • A means Arms—If the person cannot hold both arms out, it’s another possible stroke sign.
  • S means Speech—Slurring words and poor understanding of simple sentences is another possible stroke sign.
  • T means Time—If any of the FAS signs are positive, it’s Time to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Treatment within three (3) hours of a stroke can often reduce long-term effects.  Rehabilitation and prompt medical treatment can help a person recover from the effects of stroke and prevent another stroke from occurring.