A heart attack is caused by lack of blood supply to the muscle of the heart, usually caused by an obstruction of the blood supply to the heart muscle. This is known as a Myocardial Infarction or MI. The greatest danger is that the heart will stop beating, this is known as a Cardiac Arrest.
Recognition of a Heart Attack - • Collapse
• Breathlessness and discomfort high in abdomen
• Sudden faintness or dizziness
• Severe central chest pain, often spreading to the jaw or down one or both arms.
• Pain does not improve with rest
• Blueness of lips and ashen skin colour
• Rapid, weak or irregular pulse
• Gasping for breath
• Make casualty comfortable. Sit them on floor where head and shoulders can be supported (against a wall or furniture) and bend and raise knees
• Dial 999 explaining you suspect a Heart Attack
• Give casualty 300mg of asprin to chew slowly if they are conscious
• If casualty has own medication for angina (tablets or spray) help them to take it
• Stay with casualty, monitor and reassure them until help arrives
If the casualty collapses and stops breathing be prepared to start Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) which is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths.
If you have not had some instruction in CPR or basic first aid, consider getting some now before you need to use. With just some basic training you could save a life!!