According to the latest statistics, approximately 375,000 US citizens die each year as a result of a heart attack. Considered the leading cause of death in the United States, heart attacks are sudden and can be fatal if not talked immediately.
Unfortunately, most people don’t realize when they’re going to have a heart attack unless it’s too late. The most important aspect of preventing a heart attack-related death is to know how to diagnose the condition correctly and what to do before the emergency response teams arrive.
Heart disease-related studies proved that patients receiving first aid before the ambulance arrived have better chances to survive a heart attack than patients who do not receive first aid. Do you know what to do in case of a heart attack? It can happen to anyone – to your friends, family members, or even to you. That’s why it’s important to know how to act. This article will show you the basic of diagnosing and offering first aid to a person who has suffered or is about to have a heart attack.
The first step is to stay calm. If you panic, you will not be of use to the person in distress. Moreover, if you’re the one who suffered the heart attack, panicking will only make things worse.
The second step is to know how to diagnose the condition. Although the symptoms are different in men that in women, the condition has signs common to both genders.
The telltale signs of heart attack are as follows:
- Chest pain – fullness, squeezing, or pressure. In most cases, the pain originates in the middle of the chest but may be felt in the back, stomach, shoulders, and jaw.
- Shortness of breath.
- General weakness.
After correctly assessing the situation, please follow these steps in order to ensure that the patient survives.
- Dial 911.
- Ask the patient to remain calm.
- Tell the patient to sit down.
- Ask the patient if he takes any heart medication. If the answer is yes, help him or her to take the medication.
- Continue to monitor the patient’s vital signs.
- In case the patients is unresponsive and unconscious, begin CPR (place hands in the middle of the chest and push the chest approximately 2.4 inches. Perform 30 pushes – rate must be of at least 100 – 120 per second. After 30 pushes, tilt up the patient’s head, lift his chin, pinch the nostrils to cover them and blow in his mouth two times. Continue with the 30 pushes/2 breaths procedure).
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