Quick actions to take if someone is having a heart attack - the first aid you need to know


Jade Poole from I Write Words


If someone is having a heart attack then the action you take could save their life, here’s what you need to look for and how to react in this situation

If you think someone is having a heart attack then this is a very scary situation to be in. That’s why it is a good idea that you know what to do instead of waiting until the medical help arrives, by reading this article you could be saving someone’s life!

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack happens with there is a block of blood supply to the heart muscle, this blockage is normally caused by a blood clot.

The outcome of a heart attack depends on how much of the heart is affected and how quickly the person receives help.

The first thing you need to know if you think someone is having a heart attack is to call an ambulance before waiting for their symptoms to subside.

>Did you know that someone is 3 times more likely to survive if they receive medical help within one hour of having a heart attack?

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

When someone has a heart attack they will experience some of the below symptoms, not all of them necessarily.

Keep an eye out for:

●        Suddenly feeling dizzy or faint

●        Severe chest pain - this pain is persistent and spreads up to the jaw and down one or both of the arms and does not go away after resting

●        A feeling of severe indigestion in the upper abdomen

●        Feeling breathless or gasping for air

●        Experiencing fear

●        Pale, clammy, grey or sweaty skin

●        Rapid, irregular and weak pulse

●        Collapsing without warning

●        Might lose consciousness


What to do if the person having a heart attack is conscious

1. Try to ease the strain on their heart

Try to make sure the person is as comfortable as possible, putting them in a half sitting position - their head should be supported and their knees bent. Try to loosen their clothing at their chest, neck and waist.

2. Call for help

Get medical help asap and ask any bystanders to give the person some space.

3. Give the person some aspirin

If the person is completely awake, then give him or her a full dose (300 mg) aspirin.

Make sure they chew it slowly so that it is dissolved and absorbed into the bloodstream effectively. Aspirin helps to thin the blood and break down any blood clots that might be causing the damage to the heart muscle.

4. Keep an eye on the person

Check his or her breathing, pulse and consciousness.

What to do if the person having a heart attack is unconscious

Begin CPR

Lie them down

Make sure the person is lying on their back and on a firm surface, kneel beside him or her and place the heel of your hand on the centre of the chest.

Interlock your fingers

Keeping your arms straight, cover your first hand with the heel of your other hand and interlock the fingers of your hands together, keep your fingers raised so that they don’t touch the patient’s chest or rib cage.

Start the chest compressions

Lean forward with your shoulders directly over the person on the ground and press down on their chest (pushing in abotu 5cm), then release this pressure, but not your hands and let the chest come back up.

Repeat these compressions, giving 30 in total at a rate of 100 compressions per 60 seconds.

Open the airways

Move the person’s head and tilt his head, lifting the chin up to open the airway and letting the mouth fall a bit.

Begin rescue breaths

Pinching the nostrils closed with one hand and supporting the person’s chin with your other hand, take a normal breath an place your mouth over the patient’s, blow until you see the chest rising.

Watch the chest fall

Remove your mouth from the person’s mouth and watch to see the chest fall, then repeat the above two steps once.

Repeat compression and breaths

Placing your hands on their chest again, repeat a cycle of 30 chest compressions, followed by 2 rescue breaths. Then repeat this cycle.

Stay calm

One of the biggest things you need to do is stay calm and act quickly. This can make a world of difference.

Of course, make sure you have medical cover in place to help pay for emergency bills - health insurance is a great alternative to medical aid.

It can also help to go for a first aid course to make sure you are clued up in case of any emergencies.

Yours in health,


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