How to Treat a HEART ATTACK?
A heart attack victim whose heart is still beating has a much better chance of survival than a victim whose heart has stopped! Most heart attack victims who die succumb within 2 hours after having their heart attack. Many of these victims could be saved if bystanders recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and get the victim to a hospital quickly! Indeed, many victims of heart attacks think they are experiencing HEARTBURN or other minor discomfort when in fact their life is in jeopardy! This is why this article provides basic information for emergency first aid.
# Comfort & reassure the victim
# Don’t panic. The casualty will likely clutch their chest and may fall over. Sit them down if they are conscious, with their knees up and back leaning on something. Call an ambulance immediately.
# If they are unconscious then lie them on their back, check that nothing is obstructing their airways (could be tongue) and listen with your ear just over their mouth for breathing.
# If you are on their right, rotate your head to the right, so that you can watch for the rise and fall of their chest. If they are not breathing after you have listened for a count of ten, then give two breaths, pinching their nose to prevent loss of air, and breathing away from them to maximize oxygen content.
# Check for circulation – if they have an obvious pulse that’s great, but any movement is a sign of circulation, and blueness and other discolouration is a sign of a lack of it. Pinching a digit (fingers) and watching for recolouring – if there is fast recolouring, this is a sign of circulation.
# Don’t waste time checking for circulation if it is slowing down the process. Someone else can do that as you check for airways.
# If there is not circulation, then start cardio resuscitation. This means putting a hand on the split of the casualty’s lungs (the top of the inverted V) and your other hand on top.
# Interlock and raise your fingers so the heel of your hand is all that touches them. Straighten your arms and depress their chest 5cm (if they’re over 8rys old) with your whole weight.
# Raise again and do this 30 times. Then perform two rescue breaths. Someone else can take over the chest compressions if they’re competent or if you’re tired but it is best just one person does the breaths.
# Continue the 30:2 cycle until help arrives or until you’re likely to become a casualty too. Don’t endanger yourself.
# The most important thing to remember is that you should call an ambulance the second you suspect it is a heart attack, or if you have an unconscious casualty.
Keep them calm and keep everyone else calm if you can. Assign jobs to prevent panic.
- This is only a guide to assist the person, not cure the heart attack. This care should be given to them while emergency crews are on their way.