Each year, around 54,000 Australians suffer a heart attack. Every 10 minutes someone in Australia has a heart attack.

A heart attack occurs when the narrowing of the artery becomes completely blocked, causing the heart muscle beyond the blockage to become oxygen starved.

Heart Research Australia, in association with Royal North Shore Hospital and North Shore Private Hospital, has created the video below to provide information about heart attack, the warning signs and how it is treated.

Click the arrow below to view the video.


The symptoms of a heart attack can be similar to those for angina, with the addition of any or all of the following:

  • Dull pain, chest tightness or discomfort that becomes more severe and does not go away
  • Jaw and neck pain
  • Severe pain that is often described as ‘crushing’
  • A squeezing or choking sensation
  • Nausea / feeling sick in the stomach
  • Fainting
  • Sweating
  • Pain the shoulder and/or arms
  • Pain from the chest to the back
  • Similar sensations to heart burn
  • Sudden difficulty breathing
  • Sudden overwhelming fatigue or weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms

If you or someone else experience any combination of these symptoms for more than a few minutes, immediately call 000 for an ambulance.

Heart Attack Action Plan
If you think someone may be having a heart attack, regard this as an emergency. Do not waste vital moments. Rather than going to a doctor’s clinic, take these steps:

  • Dial triple zero (000) in Australia.
  • Ask for ambulance service.
  • Report a possible heart attack.
  • Give the person an aspirin if you have any, unless they have been advised not to take this particular medication.
  • Make sure they rest quietly while you wait for transport or an ambulance.
  • If an ambulance is not readily available (for example, in some rural areas), quickly notify the nearest hospital, health clinic or the person’s usual doctor for advice.


Order your free Heart Smart Pocket Guide here to learn how to minimise your risk of coronary heart disease and keep it with you to remind you of the important steps to take in the event of a heart attack. Your quick action could save the life of someone you love.

Heart Health Club

We invite you to join our Heart Health Club, which offers members expert advice, information and support that can assist in making lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.

Members receive access to exclusive offers and information, including:

  • Access to quarterly free video content from specialists.
  • Mental Wellbeing guidance and strategies to support you through your heart health journey.
  • Exclusive free webinars with our cardiologists and other health experts.
  • Access to our private Facebook community group where heart patients and carers share support and advice.
  • Exercise tips and programmes from Accredited Exercise Physiologists
  • Heart Healthy Recipes
  • Quarterly E-Newsletters with lots of great heart healthy content, tips and advice from Cardiologists as well as the latest research from our Researchers.

To join the Heart Health Club, simply click here to complete your application.