April 12, 2011

What to Do if Someone has a Heart Attack?

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

It is vital to know what to do if someone has a heart attack. Time is precious and should not be wasted while attending to a person who has had a heart attack. Most people shrug off the signs and symptoms of a heart attack but this is dangerous and can be fatal at times as well. Do not let the person in question permit you to think that there is nothing wrong with them. One of the answers to “what to do if someone has a heart attack” is to call for an ambulance immediately. If you are attending to the person who has had the cardiac arrest, then ask someone else to do this. If you can get the person to the hospital more quickly by driving, then do this instead of calling for an ambulance. Emergency heart attack treatment entails cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and artificial respiration (mouth to mouth resuscitation). However, to perform CPR and artificial respiration properly, you must be trained and have practiced on dummies as well. Since CPR and artificial respiration are two more answers to “what to do if someone has a heart attack”, here are some points to keep in mind. If the person is unconscious, check if he/she has a pulse and is breathing. If he/she has a pulse and is not breathing, check to see if there is any obstruction that is preventing the person from breathing. If there is no breathing and pulse then the person has had a heart attack. You can then place the palm of your hand flat on the patient’s chest, just below the lower part of the breast bone. Use your other hand to press over this hand in a pumping motion, about one or two times. This may make the heart start pumping again. If this first aid for the heart attack does not work, then find out if anyone else knows CPR and begin CPR and artificial respiration immediately.

Artificial respiration and CPR should be performed at the same time. If you are still wondering “what to do if someone has a heart attack”, then you should also remember to keep the person comfortable till the ambulance arrives. Make the person lie down and keep his/her head elevated. Perhaps the most important answer to “what to do if someone has a heart attack” is not to panic. Stay calm and in control. It is essential that you stay calm and keep the victim relaxed as well. Panic constricts the blood vessels and this makes it even more difficult for the person’s body to handle the attack. Studies have also shown that a person who has had a cardiac arrest and is panic free has more chances of survival than a person who is panic stricken after a heart attack because the heart has to work harder to recover, due to the narrowed blood vessels.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Chest discomfort: This is felt in the center of the chest. It could last for a few minutes, go away and come back.
  • Pain in other parts of the upper body such as arms, neck, jaw, stomach or the back.

Women may experience other symptoms such as:-

  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness of lightheadedness
  • Heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in jaw, neck, upper back or shoulders

The above article will help you with heart attack information as well as what to do if someone has a heart attack.