Heart attack is not only a silent killer but oftentimes happen when people are alone. Knowledge of effective management of heart attack when you’re alone can save you from death. In this article, we will provide you with information on how you can survive one.
A. Know the warning signs and symptoms
It pays to know the most common symptoms related to heart attacks. The most obvious and most common heart attack symptoms is chest pain and discomfort. Apart from this, there are other typical symptoms that you should be aware of:
- Chest Discomfort
This can be felt at the center of the chest. It is most often described as heaviness, pressure, tightness, numbness, fullness, aching, and squeezing sensations on the chest. Chest discomfort can last for several minutes and usually subside or come back later in the day. Unfortunately, a lot of its victims mistake chest discomfort as indigestion or heartburn.
- You may also experience discomfort and pain in other areas of the upper body, including the left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, arms, and stomach
- Additional symptoms that are associated with an impending heart attack are:
- breathing difficulties
- cold sweats
- feeling of fullness, indigestion, and choking
- rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
- Remember that symptoms among women may be different
Although it is true that women commonly experience chest pain and the additional symptoms mentioned above, they are more likely to feel less symptoms than men.
- upper back or shoulder pain
- jaw pain
- pain that extends to the arm
- easy fatigability
- sleeping difficulties
According to studies, almost 78 percent of reported heart attacks in women experience at least one of these uncommon symptoms for more than one month prior to the heart attack.
- Never ignore the symptoms
People usually expect heart attacks to be dramatic and instantaneous, but the truth is that these attacks are most often mild in nature and can extend for many hours or even days. Mild heart attacks should be considered just as serious and critical. With this in mind, if you experience one or more of the symptoms mentioned above for five minutes or longer, here are survival tips that you need to follow:
- Make sure to seek treatment for your heart attack within the first hour of experiencing the symptoms. If you ignore the symptoms, your heart will have a hard time repairing the damage. The ultimate goal is to have the strained or constricted artery back to its normal state within 90 minutes to minimize the damage as much as possible.
- People often wait a long time to get treatment as symptoms may be different or mild from what they expect them to be. Most people think that mild heart attack issues are related to other health conditions. Most people who are prone to hear attacks delay in seeking treatment especially those who are young.
B. Take Action
- Call the ambulance right away
The first thing that you need to do if you are suspect of suffering from a heart attack is to call emergency medical services immediately.
- Make sure to call the ambulance before attempting to call anyone else. Calling the ambulance will be the quickest way to get the treatment you need.
- Emergency medical services will provide you with the treatment as soon as they arrive. This is the reason why it is always the best option to calling 911 before calling loved ones for help.
- Ask someone to come over immediately
If you have a neighbor or a relative who lives nearby, you should contact him or her once you have communicated your concerns with 911. Having another person near your area will be very helpful in the case of sudden cardiac arrest. However this is the case, never rely on that other person to take you to the hospital. Just wait for the emergency medical services to show up as they are most likely bringing the medications and equipment that you need to manage heart attacks.
- Chew on aspirin
Ideally, you should chew a single 325-mg dose of non-enteric coated aspiring table. This will save you as the medication will prove to be extremely effective within 30 minutes of your first symptoms attack.
- Do not attempt to drive or operate machinery when experience heart attack symptoms
Driving yourself to the hospital, no matter how near it is from your location, is not recommended. If you start experiencing more or worse hear attack symptoms while behind, immediately pull over and stop on the side of the road.
- Remain calm
Heart attack is an undeniably scary condition to be in, thus it is a smarter move to remain calm than put yourself in a state of panic. Panicking will only make matters worse. Be in a state of relaxations as much as possible. This will keep the heart rate steady and calm.
- Lie down
While placing yourself in a state of calm, lie on your back and raise the legs upward. This maneuver will open up the diaphragm which will allow you to breathe and supply much-needed oxygen to your blood.
- Take deep, easy breaths
Our natural instinct during a heart attack is to take in rapid breaths, but the best way to maintain a steady supply of fresh oxygen to the bloodstream and heart is by taking slow and deep breaths instead.
- Never attempt cough CPR
There is a hoax circulating around that coughing a particular manner will save you from a heart attack. The truth of the matter is that you’re probably going to end up in a worse condition if you attempt to do the cough CPR technique. Attempting to implement this procedure may cause you to accidentally throw off the normal heart rhythm resulting in difficulty of oxygen to reach your blood in an easy and fast manner.
- Avoid drinking and eating
Of course during a heart attack, eating and drinking are naturally the last things on your mind. Just a reminder, avoid or stop eating and drinking during a heart attack. Ideally, aspirin is the only thing that you can have in your system during a heart attack episode.