Heart attacks are not always like what we see in movies, where sudden chest discomfort sends a person tumbling to the floor. In real life, symptoms vary from person to person, and they don't usually come out of the blue. The more severe signs are generally unique to a problem with the heart, so a person experiencing any of them should speak to a doctor immediately.
A painful or clenching feeling in the chest is a sign of a blocked cardiac artery or an impending heart attack. An affected individual may feel pressure in the chest accompanied by heaviness or crushing pain. The feeling can last for more than a few minutes and may be brought on by physical activity. If the pain is very brief and mild, lasting only a few seconds, it is probably not a symptom related to the heart. But severe and prolonged pain signify an emergency and the need to call 911.
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