How To Help Somone Who Is Having a Heart Attack
Heart attacks, or myocardial infarctions, occur when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. This can happen when a blood clot blocks the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. When the heart can’t get the oxygen it needs, it starts to hurt. The chest pain may radiate to the arms, neck, or jaw. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, nausea, and lightheadedness.
A heart attack can be a terrifying experience. It can be hard to know what to do if someone is having a myocardial infarction. However, if you know what to do, you can help save someone’s life. Here are some tips on how to help someone who is having a heart attack:
A heart attack is a serious medical emergency. If you think someone is having a myocardial infarction, call 911 immediately. The paramedics will perform an ECG to determine if the person is having a heart attack. They will also give the person oxygen and medication to help relieve the pain. The faster they can get help, the better the chances of a positive outcome.
Try to keep the person calm.
Having a heart attack can be a frightening experience. The person may be scared and panicked. Try to keep them calm and reassure them that help is on the way. Tell them that the doctors will do everything possible to help them. If the person is unconscious, stay with them and keep their airway clear.
Check for breathing and pulse.
If the person does not have a heart rate, start CPR. If you don’t have a CPR certification, try administering hands-only CPR. You can find instructions online. You may consider obtaining a CPR or first aid certification in case of an emergency, especially if a loved one is at high risk for a cardiac episode. If the person has a pulse, check to see if it is weak or irregular. If it is, you should administer CPR. If they do not, you should administer an AED shock if one is available.
Give the person having a heart attack an aspirin.
If someone is having a heart attack, it is important to give them aspirin if possible. Aspirin can help to thin the blood and can help to reduce the impact of having a myocardial infarction. Some sources specifically recommend that the patient chew the aspirin, rather than swallow it. This is thought to make the medication work more quickly, offering the fast-acting relief needed to combat a heart attack.
Help the person to the ground.
If the person is conscious, help them to the ground. This will help them to rest and will make it easier for the paramedics to treat them. Sitting or lying down can also help the person stay calm. If the person is unconscious, place them on their back and check for breathing. If the person is conscious and breathing, try to keep them calm and wait for help.
Wait for help to arrive.
If you are with someone who is having a heart attack, the most important thing you can do is to remain calm and do nothing to further stress the person. Let the paramedics take care of the person who is having a myocardial infarction. After all, these are the experts—you’ll want them to take control of the situation and help the patient as quickly and effectively as possible.
Heart attacks are serious, life-threatening events. If you’re with someone who is having a myocardial infarction, it can be scary for both of you. Stay calm and do whatever you can to help. Offer support and encouragement, and be sure to follow the instructions of emergency personnel.