May 23, 2024
What You Should Do During a Heart Attack? (For Yourself or Others)

What You Should Do During a Heart Attack? (For Yourself or Others)

Each year, tens of thousands of people die due to heart attacks – or other heart-related diseases. Since the heart is a critical organ in our body, we’re supposed to maintain it clean and well. If not, any unhealthy lifestyle will put your life in danger, causing potential heart failure.

While we hope that you do actually follow a good routine, there are still chances for heart attacks to kick in. Thus, here’s what you should do in case of a heart attack – for yourself or others around you.

The best way to save yourself or others from a heart attack is to detect the symptoms early and act accordingly. Heart strokes occur due to a lack of blood flowing to the heart, which can happen due to a number of reasons. So if that happens, here’s what you should do;

Detect and Act

As said before, early detection of potential heart strokes will help the most. Apart from the classic chest pain or discomfort, symptoms of potential heart attacks include nausea, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and feeling generally pressured.

Also, these would kick in differently for men and women and slightly different for people with certain pre-existing health conditions like diabetes. A lot of people ignore these symptoms as temporary and feel helpless when the actual situation kicks in.

So it’s recommended to go to a hospital whenever there’s an uneasy feeling, especially around your heart. There’s a strong relationship between when you start to have your heart attack and how fast doctors respond to it – by opening up the blocked coronary artery in case of an actual heart attack. So better make it quick to have better outcomes.

Consume Aspirin

It’s always recommended to have a full dose (325 mg) of Aspirin around you, which can break down the blood clot formed in your arteries and help you relieve with blood flowing again throughout the heart. To keep an aspirin handy, doctors recommend chewing it instead of swallowing it so that it dissolves faster and works immediately.

Note: Even if you have a baby aspirin of 81 mg dose, taking four doses of it can help too.

Better to Call an Ambulance

Right after consuming aspirin, the next thing you should do is to call an ambulance – if it’s available in the area. This is highly recommended instead of driving the patient to the hospital directly by yourself, as there are chances of accidents or hurting others on the road in tension.

Aside from road accidents that put both of you in danger, an ambulance would most likely come with paramedics in it – who can revive the patient if the symptoms worsen during the journey to the hospital. Using their help is highly recommended as they’re trained to handle such situations.


If you see the patient isn’t breathing or you don’t find a pulse, immediately perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to keep the blood flowing. Having called an ambulance, try pressing the person’s chest with your hands (one on top of the other) in a rapid rhythm – about 100 to 120 compressions a minute. Learn more.

Keep doing this until the person is revived or the paramedics arrive. All you need to do is to make sure the heart is unblocked for the time being. So you have to keep nudging the patient’s heart with your hands or try blowing air into his mouth (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) until the help arrives.

This article is crafted with the inputs of Dr. Grant Reed, an interventional cardiologist, and director of Cleveland Clinic’s STEMI program, and Dr. Joel Beachey, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, via Times of India.

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