When you begin to experience chest pain and suspect that you are having a heart attack, seek help immediately. First aid can be administered by someone who has probably taken CPR courses online, if the heart attack happens while you’re in public. The real challenge is when the heart attack occurs and there is no one else in sight. The guide below may just be the difference between life and death for people with heart conditions.
Things to do When the Symptoms of Heart Attack Manifest
Call for Help
When the symptoms of a heart attack begin to manifest, the first thing should be to try and seek help urgently. Chest pain may make it difficult to reach for a phone, but this is the time to gather up all your strength and maintain your composure in order to make sense to the person at the other end of the line.
Abandon All Activity
When symptoms such as chest pain begin to manifest while driving, pull over immediately, and call for aid. Pulling over is responsible since it ensures your safety as well as the safety of other road users. Similarly, if the symptoms show up while operating heavy machinery, stop and get help. This will go a long way in protecting you against injury.
Swallow an Aspirin
While waiting for help to arrive, taking an aspirin can help boost your chances of recovery due to its blood-thinning properties. Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks the supply of oxygenized blood to the heart. Oxygen deficiency in the heart damages the heart muscle. Aspirin controls the size of these clots and gives the body a chance to break them down. Before taking the aspirin though, make sure you are not allergic to it since that might aggravate the heart attack symptoms.
Things to Avoid Doing During Heart Attacks
Don’t Take Nitroglycerin
Nitroglycerin is a prescription drug that widens blood vessels temporarily in order to improve blood supply to the heart. This drug is not known for protecting against heart attacks neither does it improve the chances of survival from a heart attack. Taking this drug during heart attacks is thus a waste of time.
Don’t Feign a Cough
Rumored remedies such as coughing repeatedly in order to restore heart rhythm, do not work. Do not waste valuable energy in trying this.
Don’t Compress the Chest
Applying pressure to a person’s chest does not help them recover from heart attacks. This may work during cases of cardiac arrest though.
How to Tell If a Heart Attack Is Imminent
Here are some symptoms that communicate an impending heart attack:
- Serious chest pain
- Pain that moves from the upper arm then to the neck or jaw
- Heavy sweating
Symptoms may vary for women, elderly people, and those living with diabetes. Their symptoms may include:
- Restricted breath
- Mild chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in the upper abdomen
Acquiring some first aid skills can be of great help in case these symptoms start to manifest in people around you. You can easily enroll in CPR courses online by American CPR Care Association in order to gain these valuable skills.