heart attack: Things you need to know to act quickly

heart attack: Things you need to know to act quickly
heart attack: Things you need to know to act quickly

When faced with a heart attack, acting quickly can make the difference between life and death. Knowing how to recognize the signs of a heart attack and knowing first aid can save lives, whether that of the person in distress or even your own if you are faced with this situation. Here are some essential steps to know to act effectively:

Recognize the signs of a heart attack

Symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person, but the most common signs include pain or a feeling of pressure in the chest that may spread to the arms, neck, jaw or the back. The person may also experience nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, and feeling generally unwell.

Call emergency help

As soon as you suspect a heart attack, call emergency services immediately or have someone else do so. The sooner help arrives, the better the chances of survival.

Administer aspirin

If the person is conscious and able to swallow, give them aspirin to chew or swallow, unless they are allergic or have been advised against it by a healthcare professional.

Start CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation)

If the person stops breathing or loses consciousness, begin CPR immediately by performing chest compressions. Place the palm of your hand in the center of the person’s chest, over the sternum, and press firmly about 5 to 6 centimeters at a rate of about 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Alternate chest compressions with breaths (mouth-to-mouth) if you have been trained in this technique.

Use an automatic external defibrillator (AED)

If an AED is available, follow the instructions for using it. These devices are designed to deliver an electric shock that can restore the heart’s normal rhythm in the event of cardiac arrest.

How to save yourself

If you experience heart attack symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or tightness, don’t downplay these signs. Call emergency help immediately and stop all physical activity. If you have aspirin on hand and you are not allergic, take it immediately. Wait for help in a seated position, remaining calm and avoiding any physical exertion.

In conclusion, being prepared and knowing first aid in the event of a heart attack can save lives. By acting quickly and appropriately, you can give the person in distress the best chance of survival and perhaps even save your own life in the event of a cardiovascular emergency.

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