If you think someone is having a heart attack, taking action immediately can save their life. Each year, tens of thousands of people survive a heart attack globally. They recover and go back to their daily routine and enjoy normal lives. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack.
Knowing what to do and acting quickly provides the person a better chance of recovering. So, before we continue, let’s look at the symptoms of heart attack. By learning some basic facts, you can stay safe and help others.
How can I tell if someone is having a heart attack?
A major symptom of heart attack is chest pain. Often times, it starts in the middle of your chest and perhaps moving to your neck, jaw, ears, arms and wrists. It can also travel between your shoulder blades, back or stomach area.
Additionally, it can be very severe or it can start off as a dull pain or ache. Most people described it as a “heaviness, burning, tightness, constriction or squeezing sensation” or as a “heavy weight or pressure”. Besides, it can feel similar to indigestion or heartburn. Other common symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Collapses, often without warning
- Possible loss of conciousness
- Cold sweat and clammy skin
- Looking grey and pale
- Feeling generally unwell, restless or panicky
- Wheezing or coughing
- Feeling your heart beating very quickly (Heart palpitations)
- Women mostly experience dizziness, excessive sweating and back pain
What to Do During a Heart Attack
If you think someone is having a heart attack, do not wait until more symptoms appear. A heart attack is a medical emergency, and can be deadly. The sooner a person gets treatment, the better chance they have at survival and recovery.
The first thing to do is to call for help right away such as dialing 911. Don’t ignore the symptoms of a heart attack. Paramedics are trained to treat people on the way to the hospital and offer the fastest way to get there. Keep bystanders away from the victim if you in a public place.
Additionally, Make the victim as comfortable as possible in a half-sitting position. His head and shoulders should be well supported and knees bent to ease strain on the heart. Loosen clothing at the neck, chest, and waist. Less strain on the heart will allow them to recover faster.
Furthermore, give aspirin if conscious. If able, have the person chew and swallow aspirin while waiting for the paramedics, unless they are allergic or have another medical condition that makes taking aspirin dangerous. Most doctors recommend 300 mg aspirin tablet for maximum effect. Because, Aspirin can help lower the heart’s workload and make blood flow better. If you are prescribed nitroglycerin, take one and chew and swallow it.
Begin CPR. If the person is unconscious or unresponsive begin CPR. You may be told by the paramedics you call to begin CPR. If you do not know how to give CPR, the paramedics should be able to give you the correct steps to follow until help arrives. Wait until help arrives. Observe the person for any changes in condition. Provide every detail when the paramedics arrive.