What to do if Someone is Having a Heart Attack?

One should know what to do if someone is having a heart attack, for everyone must be aware in case of emergencies.

What to do if someone is having a heart attack
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A heart attack is a medical emergency when a blood clot blocks blood that carries oxygen flow to the heart, reducing the oxygen in tissues. If not given the necessary first aid for a heart attack patient, it will result in death.

Even minor heart attacks can cause life-threatening situations1 if not cared for properly with quick actions.

Before looking into the answers to what to do if someone is having a heart attack, you should be aware of heart attack symptoms.2


When one or more of your coronary arteries become blocked, the fat deposit narrows the arteries, causing coronary artery disease. It causes most heart attacks.

The symptoms of a heart attack include pressure, heaviness, tightness, squeezing, sudden chest pain or arm or below your breastbone, and discomfort that goes into your back, jaw pain, throat, or arm. Sometimes it may feel like the heart burning with fullness, indigestion, or a choking feeling.

Other symptoms of a heart attack include cold sweat, upset stomach, vomiting, dizziness, Severe weakness,  anxiety, fatigue, or shortness of breath which might be fast or uneven. Symptoms of a heart attack in women are different from men. Symptoms for women include dizziness, shortness of breath, vomiting, nausea, neck, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal pain.

Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person and from one heart attack to another, including minor or odd symptoms. Some people don’t have any symptoms, such as a silent myocardial infarction3 seen as standard in diabetic people.

1. Call an Ambulance

Heart attacks need immediate medical attention, or else they would be life-threatening. Even though you will think of driving yourself or the patient to the hospital, it’s better to wait for the ambulance immediately after dialing the local emergency number.

Paramedics are the fastest way to get treatment and can give treatment on the way too. You can’t drive the patient unless the call is not answered. If you are the patient, don’t drive yourself unless you have no other choice.

What to do if someone is having a heart attack
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Don’t delay dialing the local emergency number for medical severe emergency help if you doubt the symptoms, as the delaying of treatment makes many heart attack patients die. It is the first thing in what to do if someone is having a heart attack.

2. Defibrillator

If you’re in a public place such as a library, school, store, or workplace, there’s a high chance there’s a defibrillator nearby. It is a kind of device used to revive people experiencing heart attacks.

What to do if someone is having a heart attack
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If you are conscious of the attack and still conscious, you can tell someone nearby to find the closest automated external defibrillator4. It has easy instructions that make it easy to use for none paramedics. It can help you revive and escape the threatening phase of heart attacks. It is a must thing in what to do if someone is having a heart attack.

3. Take the medicine

If the person having a heart attack is prescribed by the physician for chest pain medicine or cardiovascular medicine, make them chew and swallow them. Or you can have the patient chew and swallow Aspirin. It can only be used if the patient is not allergic to Aspirin. It shouldn’t be used If another medical condition prevents the patient from taking Aspirin.

The patient can take 325 mg of dose aspirin for the maximum effect. Aspirin acts on platelets by stopping the clotting action, which stops the arteries that supply blood to your heart. The blood can flow easily with Aspirin’s anti-clotting action until you receive further medical attention.

4. Begin CPR if necessary

As long as the patient is breathing and responsive, there’s no need to do CPR. If the person having a heart attack becomes unconscious or unresponsive under your watch, check their pulse. If they don’t have any pulse, then immediately start CPR according to the health care provider’s orders, or the dispatcher should be able to help you follow the correct steps to fasten the recovery process.

What to do if someone is having a heart attack
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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation 5(CPR)  gives a heart attack patient the best chance of survival. Once reached for medical assistance, the next thing to do for the patient’s survival is CPR until there’s access to a Defibrillator.

CPR is a way to buy time until a defibrillator is available. By giving artificial respiration and manual chest compressions, the chance of resuscitation6 of the person having cardiopulmonary arrest is high. Receiving CPR within time is what to do if someone is having a heart attack, then the chance of survival is double or triple if it were to wait for the emergency care to arrive.

5. Don’t panic

Keep the person having a heart attack calm and not to be panic while waiting for emergency medical help. Loosen yourself and rest while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Don’t drink or eat outside of the medication if you suspect having heart attack symptoms.

If someone else has a heart attack, don’t allow them to do so either, for it would threaten the patient’s life. Making the person relax by having them sit or lie down is what to do if someone is having a heart attack. Stressing out the heart muscle will decrease the survival rate of the patient.

Silent heart attack

In cases of silent heart attacks, there won’t be any symptoms. Since it doesn’t have noticeable symptoms, it can be life-threatening if emergency medical assistance is late. A silent heart attack has higher risk factors of heart failure and ultimately leads to death. It can happen when you are asleep, after going through a physically and emotionally stressful phase, or become more physically active.

If the paramedics find a fast or uneven pulse and unusual sounds in your lungs, it points to silent heart attacks. Usually, it’s more common in women. Flu, tiredness, indigestion, sore muscles, or an ache in your jaw, arms, or upper back can be the symptoms of silent heart attacks.

What to do if someone is having a heart attack

A heart attack occurs unannounced; thus, be prepared anytime for what to do if someone is having a heart attack with symptoms. Remember the symptoms and warning signs always and be prepared to use them. Connect with the emergency care within five minutes of the heart attack symptoms begin. Practice guidelines on how to do CPR if a loved one needs you.

If you are a heart patient, always keep information about the medicines you’re taking, your allergies, your attending physician number, and people to contact if you go to the hospital.

Remember what to do if someone is having a heart attack, don’t panic, and don’t make them panic; help them keep their mental status. Let them rest and relax until the help arrives. Learning and remembering what to do if someone is having a heart attack can save someone’s life.

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  1. Hamburg, David A. “Coping behavior in life-threatening circumstances.” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 23.1-6 (1974): 13-25. ↩︎
  2. Dracup, Kathleen, et al. “Causes of delay in seeking treatment for heart attack symptoms.” Social science & medicine 40.3 (1995): 379-392. ↩︎
  3. Reed, Grant W., Jeffrey E. Rossi, and Christopher P. Cannon. “Acute myocardial infarction.” The Lancet 389.10065 (2017): 197-210. ↩︎
  4. Caffrey, Sherry L., et al. “Public use of automated external defibrillators.” New England journal of medicine 347.16 (2002): 1242-1247. ↩︎
  5. Ewy, Gordon A. “Cardiocerebral resuscitation: the new cardiopulmonary resuscitation.” Circulation 111.16 (2005): 2134-2142. ↩︎
  6. van Gijn, Myke S., et al. “The chance of survival and the functional outcome after in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation in older people: a systematic review.” Age and Ageing 43.4 (2014): 456-463. ↩︎

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