Heart attack is never meant to be taken lightly. You never know when someone can suffer from a heart attack. It is very essential that if you are a heart patient you should know what safety measures or first aid must be taken when you suffer from an attack. Similarly, as an individual, it is also essential that we should be well tarined to give emergency first aid to a heart attack patient until profession medical help arrives. The following is a brief guide to the first aid help that can be given in the event of a heart attack or cardiac arrest. However, it is not intended as a replacement for a first aid or resuscitation course.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Someone having a heart attack may experience any or all of the following:
- Uncomfortable squeezing pain, pressure, fullness in the center of the chest
- Prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
- Discomfort spreading beyond the chest to the shoulders, jaw, teeth, neck, or one or both arms
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
- Sweating and Nausea
How to Survive a Heart Attack when Alone?
Well in many cases, people suffer from heart attack when alone. Suppose you are driving back home from office and you start experiencing pain in your chest. The pain gradually becomes severe and starts to spread out into your arm and up into your jaw. You know the way to the hospital but the pain is unbearable and you are not sure whether you will make it or not. You might also be trained in CPR, but you don't know how to perform it on yourself. It is very essential in such cases that you act fast instead of panicking. Try to relax and loosen up your clothes. Take medicines if any. Chew and swallow an aspirin, unless you're allergic to aspirin or have been told by your doctor never to take aspirin. When the pain subsides, visit your doctor immediately. Incase you don't have any medicines with you, you can help yourselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, like as you are producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds till you are stable enough to get to a hospital or till help arrives.
Why deep breaths and coughs work?
Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and when you cough, the cough movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm.
First Aid Treatment for Heart Attack Patients
- First of all, you being the one to give first aid, don't panic. Stay calm and help the patient to stay calm. Make him feel comfortable by loosening his clothes and make him to sit or lie down comfortably.
- Ask him to take heavy breaths.
- Ask him to cough vigorously.
- If the victim has been under medical care, help him with his prescribed medicine. You can also give him aspirin if he is not allergic to it.
- If the person is unconscious, check out whether he is breathing or not. Look at the patient's chest to see if it is rising and falling. Check out the pulse.
- Begin CPR if the person is unconscious.
CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Immediately place the palm of your hand flat on the patient's chest just over the lower part of the breast bone and press your hand in a pumping motion once or twice by using the other hand. This may make the heart beat again. If you haven't received CPR training, doctors recommend skipping mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing and performing only chest compressions (about 100 per minute).