Step-by-step instructions about what to do for a person suffering a heart attack.
The event might be more common than you can imagine; someone in the shopping mall walking with their family, when suddenly you see them go down to their knees, grasping their chest. Of course, someone will call 911, but what should you be doing until the ambulance can offer medical assistance?
Clive James, a first-aid trainer, wants to provide brief instructions how to help someone having a heart attack. James describes heart attack signs to look for in a person, which include dizziness, difficulty breathing, someone grabbing their chest in pain or jaw, or their lips turning blue.
What to Do When a Person’s Having a Heart Attack
- Get them into a sitting position with their knees raised, while you sit behind them as a backrest.
- Support them, reassure they are going to be ok and give them two aspirin to chew on (not swallow!). The aspirin is a very important step to saving a life because the medicine will help break down any blood clots forming in the heart.
- Keep them warm with an extra coat or sweatshirt.
- If they stop breathing, start the CPR procedure immediately.
An important question to ask the person is if they have any heart medication. Sometimes the person has a history of health problems, so it’s advised to ask first before giving them aspirin, if possible.