Heart attack is considered to be one of the common life-threatening medical emergencies. However, it is often confused with cardiac arrest, but both are quite different medical conditions.
During a heart attack, blood flow is blocked, and the heart gets deprived of proper nutrition and oxygen. This situation typically arises due to blockage in arteries or a clogged artery due to deposition of plagues. Thus, a person suffering from a heart ailment is asked to take heart attack precautions.
Further, it is imperative to know that the heart does not stop beating during a heart attack, while in the case of cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and occurs suddenly.
In India, the death rate due to cardiac diseases is relatively high. So, one must always be aware of the first aid for heart attack. Awareness can help save a life, be it yours or a family member or an acquaintance.
The symptoms of heart attack
Heart attacks have become quite common and can occur in between everyday activities such as relaxing on the balcony, shopping, hanging out with friends or after a peaceful sleep. It is essential to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack to provide first aid.
A heart attack occurs suddenly, and the warning side includes –
- Discomfort around the chest area
- Feeling excessive pressure or pain in the chest
- Excessive pain in the peripheral areas of the body, including arms
- Pain in the jaw and stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
In women, specific symptoms differ from men, and these are – extreme fatigue, fainting and pressure on the upper back. Thus, one must take note of the heart attack precautions.
First aids for heart attack
No, you do not need to be a specialist to provide first aid in case of a heart attack. If you have already detected the symptoms, it’s time to take action.
1. Call an emergency number
It would bring help within minutes, and the patient could be shifted to the hospital at the earliest. Usually, ambulances have a life-saving kit and equipment that can assist the patient
until professional intervention is received at the hospital. This helps to increase the survival rate. Further, the paramedics are trained to revive a person’s heartbeat in severe conditions.
2. Provide medication
Aspirin is the standard medicine prescribed during a heart attack as it stops or even slows down the artery-clogging effect. You can either ask the patient to chew or swallow one tablet of aspirin (dose for an adult). Otherwise, if the patient is on heart medication, they can also take that, such as nitroglycerine.
3. Do not panic
In this situation, you must keep yourself calm, try to loosen the tight clothes of the patient, and help them sit down and rest. Further, assure them that it’s just a minor health issue. You must try to keep them awake. Do not provide water or food in this scenario, and it is part of heart attack precautions.
4. Chest compression
If the patient is about to lose consciousness, then you can provide chest compression. The process is quite simple – kneel next to the patient and lock your hands together. Now, place your hands on the middle of the chest. Next, using the pressure of your entire body, push downwards hard and fast. Try to cover at least two inches deep.
Continue the compression until the person regains consciousness. You must continue for 100 beats per minute and switch every two minutes. This is also called hands-on CPR and is associated with a “chain of survival” technique. Technically, this helps to increase the chance of someone’s survival rate.
The most important part of dealing with a heart attack is to act quickly. It takes minutes for the heartbeat to stop, so do not wait for the symptoms to fade away. Even if the patient has regained consciousness, you must immediately take the patient to a cardiac hospital for a complete checkup. ILS Hospitals provide the best medical facility in terms of heart attack emergencies.