When someone is suspected of having a heart attack, immediate action is crucial to help minimize heart damage and improve the chances of survival. Here are the essential steps to take:

  1. Call Emergency Services Immediately:
    • Dial 911 or the local emergency number. Do not attempt to drive the person to the hospital unless absolutely necessary. Emergency medical services (EMS) can start treatment as soon as they arrive and are equipped to revive someone if their heart stops.
  2. Ensure the Person is Resting:
    • Have the person sit down and rest while waiting for emergency services. They should not exert themselves in any way, as physical activity can increase the heart’s demand for oxygen.
  3. Administer Aspirin, If Appropriate:
    • If the person is not allergic to aspirin, has no other contraindications like a bleeding disorder, and emergency services advise it, give them an aspirin to chew slowly. Aspirin helps to thin the blood and can help prevent the heart attack from worsening.
    • Do not give aspirin if the person is unconscious or unable to swallow.
  4. Monitor the Person:
    • Keep an eye on the person’s condition. If they become unconscious, you may need to administer CPR if you are trained to do so.
    • If you are not CPR certified, the 911 dispatcher can often guide you through the process until the emergency team arrives.
  5. Stay Calm and Offer Reassurance:
    • Stay calm yourself and reassure the person experiencing the heart attack. Panic can increase the heart’s workload.
  6. Prepare for the Arrival of Emergency Services:
    • Make note of all medications the person is taking (or gather the medications), and be ready to provide this information to the emergency responders.
    • If there are pets in the home, secure them away from the area where the person is located.
  7. Do Not Give Anything by Mouth If the Person is Nauseous or Vomiting:
    • Avoid giving food, drink, or medications other than aspirin (as instructed) because of the risk of choking or complications.

Immediate and effective response to a suspected heart attack can be life-saving. Recognizing the symptoms early and promptly seeking professional medical intervention are key actions that significantly affect outcomes.

Categorized in:

Cardiovascular, Heart Attacks,

Last Update: June 2, 2024