Heart attack: How to recognise and what to do

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According to the British Heart Foundation statistics, sadly someone is taken to hospital with a heart attack every three minutes. We feel it is necessary to spread the word about this condition and ensure that you know how to respond if someone around you experiences one.

A heart attack is caused by a sudden obstruction of the bloody supply to the coronary arteries of the heart. This causes the heart to stop beating and is fatal without medical attention.

A cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops pumping blood round your body. The casualty will become unconscious and stop breathing and it’s necessary to call for an ambulance immediately, begin CPR and use a defibrillator to increase the casualty’s chance of survival.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack:

  • Pain in the chest 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 without any warning
  • Nausea

What to do if someone is having a Heart Attack:

  • Call 999/112 for an ambulance and mention that you suspect the casualty is having a heart attack
  • Sit the casualty down on the floor. Ideally in an upright position leaning against a wall.
  • Keep the casualty warm and comfortable
  • Keep reassuring them and ask them to remain calm
  • Be prepared to resuscitate if the casualty becomes unresponsive and stops breathing

Get in touch if you would like to learn more about our first aid courses that we offer to individuals and companies.

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