Hands-Only CPRTwo Steps to Save a Life

  1. Call 911 right away.
  2. Repeatedly, push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. (Hands-only CPR)

A heart attack can strike at any time; knowing the symptoms and seeking the help you need is critical to surviving. Not all of the symptoms of a heart attack may occur. In fact, many heart attacks start slowly. A person experiencing a heart attack may be unsure or doubt that it is really happening.

Heart Attack Symptoms

The majority of damage that can occur as a result of a heart attack strikes within the first two hours, so understanding the symptoms and calling 911 right away are important. Here is a list of possible symptoms.

  • Anxiety
  • Arm pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Back pain
  • Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling of fullness in your stomach
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

Heart Attacks Symptoms in Women

It’s important to note that heart attack symptoms vary among individuals and can affect each person differently. For example, women may experience a heart attack without having any chest pain. Women may instead experience the following symptoms, which are associated with a heart attack:

  • Anxiety
  • Indigestion
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Unusual fatigue

Act Fast in an Emergency

If you think you or a loved one is having a heart attack call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not drive yourself. Ambulances are specially equipped to provide treatment for a heart attack.

Froedtert Hospital attained Primary Heart Attack Center certification by The Joint Commission. Froedtert West Bend Hospital and Froedtert Menomonee Falls have attained Acute Heart Attack Ready Certification by The Joint Commission. This means that each of these locations has demonstrated a commitment to a high standard of service and seeks to maintain The Joint Commission’s high standards in providing cardiac care. We are the first in Wisconsin to have a Joint Commission-certified heart attack program.


Our Cardiovascular Program continues to receive recognition as one of the top programs nationally. We are honored to provide high-quality, effective care for even the most high-risk patients.

  • In its 2024 Specialty Excellence Awards, Healthgrades recognized Froedtert Hospital as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery, one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care and one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary Intervention, as well as other specialty achievements in various areas.

    Froedtert Hospital was named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals™ by Fortune and PINC AI™. Froedtert Hospital demonstrated significantly higher survival rates associated with cardiac care, with fewer readmissions and complications. To select top performers, an objective, independent, quantitative research analysis was performed using publicly available data measuring cardiac care in the U.S. Those in the top 50 operated at a lower cost and had better outcomes, had significantly higher inpatient survival rates, fewer patients with complications, lower readmission rates and spent up to $5,076 less in total costs per patient case. If all hospitals operated at the level of the top 50, there would be 7,600 fewer deaths due to heart disease, 6,700 fewer patients with complications and more than $1 billion saved each year, according to the analysis.

    The Society for Vascular Surgery's Vascular Quality Initiative (SVS VQI) has awarded Froedtert Hospital three out of three stars for its active participation in the Registry Participation Program. The mission of the SVS VQI is to improve patient safety and the quality of vascular care delivery by providing web-based collection, aggregation and analysis of clinical data submitted in registry format for all patients undergoing specific vascular treatments. The VQI operates 14 vascular registries.

    The American Heart Association recognized Froedtert Hospital with its Get With the Guidelines® Heart Failure Gold Plus Award. In addition, the hospital was recognized on the AHA’s Target: Heart Failure(SM) Honor Roll and received the AHA’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll™ award. 

    The American Heart Association also recognized Froedtert Hospital with its Get With the Guidelines® — Coronary Artery Disease Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Silver Plus and Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Silver awards. These awards demonstrate our commitment to improving care by adhering to the latest treatment guidelines and streamlining processes to ensure timely and proper care for heart attacks.

    The American Heart Association recognized Froedtert Hospital with its Get With the Guidelines® AFib Gold Award.

    ​The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) and Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Froedtert Hospital have each received a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. This award recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Receiving this national three-year award with gold, silver and bronze designations, marks a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and achieving a healthy work environment.