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Heart attack: How to recognise and what to do.

Updated: Jul 18

A heart attack is a blockage to a blood vessel in the heart and life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate attention.

A cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping blood round the body. The person will become unconscious and stop breathing. It is to call for an ambulance immediately, begin CPR and use a defibrillator to increase their chance of survival.

Knowing how to provide first aid in such a critical situation can make a significant difference in saving someone's life. Acting swiftly and confidently can help minimize damage to the heart muscle and increase the chances of survival. Here are essential steps to follow when providing first aid for a heart attack.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack:

· Pain or discomfort in the chest (often confused with indigestion) which may spread to the arms, back and jaw.

· Pale and clammy skin

· Shortness of breath

· Rapid or irregular pulse

· Blueness around the lips

· Lightheaded

· The casualty may collapse suddenly

· Nausea

What to do if:

· Call 000/112 for an ambulance and follow advice.

· Help the person find a position of comfort preferably sitting

· If not allergic, administer 1 300 mg tablet of aspirin, chewed and swallowed.

· Loosen any tight upper body clothing

· Keep reassuring them

· Be prepared to resuscitate if the casualty becomes unresponsive and stops breathing


Monitor Vital Signs: Keep a close eye on the person's breathing. If they become unconscious and stop breathing, be prepared to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until professional medical help arrives.

Remember, responding quickly and efficiently during a heart attack is vital for saving lives. Recognise the signs, call emergency services, help the person rest, and if appropriate, provide aspirin. Stay calm and provide reassurance to the individual while waiting for medical professionals to arrive.

Remember, this article serves as a basic guide, and it is always recommended to undergo first aid and CPR training to be better prepared for emergencies. You can by enrolling in a first aid course in Blacktown or Sutherland now.


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