Heart attack is common these days due to increased stress situations, work load, smoking, cholesterol and change in life style with advancing time. It is an emergency which can result in immediate death if left untreated. It can also precipitate when doing exercise. Also if you already have a heart disease the chances are high though a healthy person can suffer from it too. Heart attack basically occurs when your main artery is blocked somehow resulting in improper blood supply and lack of oxygen to the heart resulting in muscle death. Anyone anywhere around you can suffer from it suddenly while driving, walking or someone around you in the mall, so you must have your eyes open and know how to manage the condition.
Symptoms of Heart Attack
Don’t ignore the heart attack symptoms and for that one should know how it feels like for early recognition and prompt treatment to save life!
- The most common symptom is chest pain. It may start from slight chest discomfort towards the left side, feeling pressure and squeezing effect advancing to your left arm till your jaw.
- Cold sweats
- Difficult breathing
- Light headache
How to save someone when heart attack symptoms appear
The first thing is, “DON’T PANIC”. Keep yourself calm, relaxed and composed so you can think of ways to save life and not mess up! Anxiety will worsen your symptoms.
- The immediate step then is to take 325mg aspirin (if you are the patient) to control the symptoms immediately providing that the patient is free from any bleeding disorder or aspirin allergy.
- If not aspirin, take nitroglycerin if it was prescribed to you by doctor previously. It relieves chest pain by opening the blood vessels and reducing the symptoms.
- Call 997 and ask for help. Don’t delay the call. Call ambulance even if there are minor symptoms. Do not ignore, you might get a second attack. Don’t drive yourself if you are the patient
- Sit or lie down, loosen up tight clothes for easy breathing.
- At the hospital’s emergency department the patient will be assessed via tests and checkup to find the root cause. Test includes ECG, x ray and blood tests.
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
- If the patient faints in front of you and stops breathing, try cardiopulmonary resuscitation which might revive the person. Delay of even a minute can be dangerous. Loss of consciousness and breathing may be due to cardiac or respiratory arrest.
- Start compressing the chest with a rate of 100 compressions per minute. Rescue breathing by mouth to mouth method with head tilted and chin lifted after 30 compressions. This is basically artificial pumping process for blood.
- If you don’t know the procedure simply just push in the centre of chest hard and fast until help arrives. This improves the chances of survival.
- If breathing starts, lay patient on its side so that vomit or anything can come out of the mouth and doesn’t obstruct the respiratory tract
- If an AED is available (automatic external defibrillator), use it.
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