August 18, 2022

What to Do for Someone Having a Heart Attack

A heart attack can strike without warning. Time is of the essence with this serious medical emergency. In a crisis like this, it’s worth taking a Basic Life Support (BLS) course to learn how to handle one appropriately. Before you sign up to learn BLS in Calgary, see what you can do now before you become certified! 

Heart Attack Triggers 

Knowing what triggers a heart attack can be tricky. Heart attacks result from your heart muscle not getting enough blood. The longer your heart goes without blood flow it can potentially lead to a fatal outcome. Lack of blood flow stems from a blockage, usually from fat, cholesterol, or other substances in the heart’s artery. Since everything is happening internally, it’s hard to see what could trigger a heart attack. 

In which case, you need to consider what instances can trigger less blood flow. For example, when someone over-exerts themself. As much as exercise is great for getting your blood pumping, going to the extreme can become detrimental – especially with strong negative emotions. 

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

According to statistics, half the deaths from a heart attack happen from the onset of symptoms within the first three to four hours. Identifying the signs of a heart attack is vital for potentially saving another person’s life. 

Here are a few of the signs of a heart attack occurring: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weak, lightheaded, or faint
  • Chest pain
  • Discomfort in other parts of the upper body (e.g. arms, back, neck, or jaw.)
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Cold sweat
  • Heart palpitations

Taking Appropriate Action 

Whether you’re certified from a course on BLS in Calgary or not, the first course of action is to call 911. You want the right medical professionals to handle the situation as soon as possible. However, in the meantime, here is what you can do to help someone going through a heart attack.

Help Them Relax

A person’s heart is working in overdrive to sustain itself during a heart attack. Don’t add to the stressful situation by panicking and remain calm. Ensure the person experiencing a heart attack calms down by sitting down to rest. It might seem simple, but this small course of action helps to alleviate strain on the heart. In turn, it makes it easier for them to recover. 

Get Them Aspirin

A person shouldn’t be eating or drinking during a heart attack. However, medication can help – specifically 325 milligrams of aspirin. The aspirin helps promote better blood flow. As a result, it minimizes heart damage or prevents the development of a lethal blood clot.

Possibly Begin CPR

In the worst-case scenario, a person can become unresponsive or unconscious from a heart attack. Being certified in CPR comes in handy in this circumstance. However, it still needs to be done even if you don’t know how. In the same breath, you want to ensure it’s done correctly. In which case, 911 dispatchers can give you detailed instructions on what to do. 

First Aid Training Calgary is your industry experts dedicated to providing comprehensive and life-changing first aid and CPR training in Calgary. Our core belief that everyone should be empowered with the knowledge to respond to an emergency situation, helping them make a positive difference in someone’s life when it matters. Our instructors are highly-trained professionals, teaching courses that are Canadian Red Cross and Heart & Stroke™ approved and widely accepted by numerous organizations, including Occupational Health and Safety, AHS, Alberta Social Services and Alberta Human Services – Child Care. Affordable, important and life-saving – make a difference with our first aid training in Calgary. Book your spot online or call us at 403-407-0756 today!

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