First Aid for a Heart Attack
A heart attack is one of the worst things a person can go through, and often it is fatal. Knowing what to do in the first few seconds of a heart attack though, can save the life of yourself, or someone you know. These are basic first aid tips that can change a life. Here is what you need to know.
Signs of a Heart Attack
The first thing you need to know are the signs of a heart attack. These are things like chest discomfort, usually lasting more than a few minutes. It may come and go, but it usually feels like pressure on the chest, and even some pain. Next, there will be other areas of discomfort in the upper body, including the arms, back and jaw. Shortness of breath will follow, as will breaking into a cold sweat, and the feeling of nausea.
Actions to Take
When someone is having a heart attack, or you think you are going to have one, there are several things that can be done.
- First, you need to call 911. This should be your first task because it gets help on the way and time is of the essence.
- Aspirin thins the blood, and it has been proven to help prevent heart attacks. If a heart attack is coming, you, or the person having the attack, can chew an aspirin tablet and swallow it to get it into the blood as quickly as possible.
- Nitroglycerin is another excellent remedy, and taking it can prevent a heart attack that has already started.
- If the person is having a heart attack, you can give them CPR. This involves minor chest compression, and providing air into their lungs by giving mouth-to-mouth. It should be noted though that you must not do this if you are not trained in CPR, as it can do more damage than good.
What Not to Do
There are things you should not do when someone is having a heart attack, with the most obvious being that you should not have the person moving around or walking. They need to sit down and keep the heart from pumping too fast.
These are the first aid basics in the instance of a heart attack.