Knowing What to Do During a Heart Attack
You are having a wonderful dinner date with your husband. The waiter arrives with the vintage wine and pours it in your glass. Just as you are about to make a toast, your partner suddenly feels severe chest pain signaling the start of a heart attack. What do you do?
Another scenario, you are home alone with your mom. The two of you are watching TV, laughing at the joke of the actors in your favorite sitcom. You mom is about to stand to get more chips but she stopped on her tracks and complained of shortness of breath and nausea. You think it is heart attack so you let her sit down again. What do you do next?
Knowing what to do during a heart attack is important to save lives, especially those close to you. The very first thing to do is to call 911, your doctor or the police to get some help. Even if the person having a heart attack decides to tough it out, it is your responsibility to inform the authorities. Something bad might happen even if the pain or discomfort being felt is only a mild one. If you do not know what number to call, contact a friend or the neighbor immediately. If you are the one having a heart attack and you decide to rush to the hospital then have someone else drive the car. Do not attempt to drive yourself for it can lead to an accident.
Determine if the person having the heart attack is allergic to aspirin. If you are sure that there is no allergy, then have him or her chew and swallow an aspirin. It will alleviate the discomfort or severe pain being experienced by the person. For those people who have been prescribed with nitroglycerin before, you may take this as well. If your doctor has not yet prescribed you with this, do not take it. You might be allergic to it or your body might react in some other way that will just worsen the situation at hand.
When the person having heart attack suddenly becomes unconscious, CPR is recommended. If you already know how to do it, you can perform it on the person but be sure to inform the 911 dispatcher or any medical specialist you successfully contacted that you are about to do it. If you have not received any training on how to perform the CPR, the 911 dispatcher may just instruct you on how to do the chest compressions and skip the mouth to mouth rescue breathing.
Through all of these, it is vital that you remain calm. Having a panic attack will not help at all in this situation. Keep all of these in mind and you might just save a life. To make sure that your knowledge about CPR does not become rusty, you should practice undergoing CPR training at least once a year. It is also a good idea to ensure that you read up on the latest findings by the AHA on how to carry out chest compressions.