Heart attack warning signs

Heart attack is a leading cause of death in New Zealand. Learn to recognise the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack, so you know what to do if you see or experience them.

We asked people to show us what a heart attack looks like, can you spot a real one?

This video is also available in Tongan, Samoan, Maori, Cook Island, Korean, Hindi or Chinese.  View all translated versions on our Youtube channel.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be having a heart attack.

Are you experiencing... In any of these areas? You may also experience:
  • heaviness
  • tightness
  • pressure 
  • discomfort/pain
  • chest
  • shoulder
  • jaw
  • arm
  • neck
  • back
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

If you think you are having a heart attack:

1. Stop and rest now

  • Tell someone how you feel.
  • If your symptoms are severe or they appear to be getting worse take action now.
  • Or if you take angina medication  and the symptoms have not been relieved within 15 minutes then take action now.

2. Dial 111 immediately

  •  Ask for an ambulance, and if instructed and aspirin is available, chew one.

Looking for more information about heart attacks?

Browse our resource section for free heart attack resources, including posters and brochures to use in your house, clinic or hospital. Or select from the following options.

Managing your riskFind personal stories