Life is full of surprises, some positive and some not so positive. It’s difficult to face the harsh reality that anything could happen, at any point in time. But it sure helps to be prepared. In this article, we’ll help you to prepare and know what to do if someone is having a heart attack. Firstly, if ever you suspect someone may be experiencing a heart attack or is showing symptoms, never brush it off. Take it seriously, and most of all, act quickly! You could be saving a life, as most heart attacks are a case of life or death.
To make it easier to remember, let’s break it down into 5 basic steps.
- Step 1– Call an emergency service immediately.
The first thing you should do before anything else is phone an ambulance (call 10177) or quick responding emergency service. Do not wait to see if the symptoms improve because every minute counts. After you’ve phoned for emergency help, you can begin to take the next steps.
Avoid driving to the hospital yourself with the patient because when you get there, you’ll most likely be told to fill out a form, and then sit down and wait. And you do not have time to sit and wait if it is a heart attack.
- Step 2 – Get the patient comfortable
Get them into a comfortable sitting position and loosen any tight clothing around the neck or chest area. Keep them as calm as possible and stay close by for reassurance and to monitor symptoms carefully.
- Step 3 – Give aspirin
If the person is not allergic to aspirin, give them an aspirin tablet and instruct them to chew slowly and swallow it.
- Step 4 – Nitroglycerin dose
If the patient has previously been given or prescribed nitroglycerin for heart disease and the medication is close by, give them a dose.
- Step 5 – Give CPR
If the person who is suffering with the symptoms of a heart attack suddenly collapses, stops breathing or begins losing consciousness, begin chest only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) of about 100 chest compressions per minute. It is also best to stay on the phone with the emergency dispatcher who’ll instruct and advise the correct procedures until the emergency help arrives. Don’t stop these compressions unless you’re told to.
In 5 easy to remember steps, this is what to do if someone is having a heart attack. But it’s also beneficial to have a plan in case of emergency. This reduces panic and will make the process of preparation easier and fast assistance more efficient. Consider getting a Medical Assist package from YouAssist, this gives you 24/7 emergency medical response and transport when you need it.
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