Heart Attack

It is important that you know the signs of a heart attack......  

 

SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK

Not all of these signals occur in every heart attack. If you are with someone having these "signals", expect denial. Insist on calling 911.

  • Denial of anything being wrong
  • Fear
  • Persistent chest pain or discomfort
  • Victim may have persistent pressure, squeezing, or crushing type pain in the chest that is not relieved by resting, changing positions, or medication
  • Pain may spread to jaw, neck, or arms
  • Victim may feel a shortness of breath or is breathing faster than normal
  • Victim's skin may be pale, ashen (gray), or bluish in color. Victim's skin may also feel cool and moist
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting
  • Nausea and/or vomiting


CARE FOR A HEART ATTACK

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Remain calm (Please know, that no matter what the outcome, you did the best you could.)
  • Have the casualty stop activity and rest comfortably.
  • Loosen clothing at the neck, chest and waist.
  • Quickly confirm information about the victim's current condition. (awake? breathing? symptoms?)
  • Call 911 immediately. Answer all of the Dispatcher's questions as accurately as possible.
  • Closely follow instructions given by the 911 Dispatcher. Do not hang up until the Dispatcher says to.
  • Assist the casualty with medication, if prescribed for the victim.
  • If the casualty has no medication or the casualty's medication has no effect, check for any allergies to aspirin (ASA). If there are no allergies, reccommend the conscious casualty chew one adult tablet of ASA. 
  • Monitor the victim's condition closely.
  • Stay with the casualty to reassure them and lessen the fear and worry.
  • If the casualty loses conciousness and stops breathing, start CPR.


STEPS OF CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)

CPR is two basic life support skills put together, namely artificial respiration (providing oxygen to the lungs) and artificial circulation (providing oxygenated blood flow to the brain and other vital organs). Administration of CPR gives a person a chance for survival.

  1. Make sure you and the scene are SAFE
  2. ASSESS: Shout and tap or gently shake. If victim is unresponsive, call 911.
  3. POSITION: Place victim on their back with face up, remove pillows from behind the head, open the airway using head-tilt/chin-lift method.
  4. CHECK FOR BREATHING: Look, Listen, and Feel for ten seconds. If victim is not breathing, give two slow breaths. Each breath should be about 1 second, using enough breath to make the chest rise.
  5. CHECK FOR SIGNS OF CIRCULATION: Look for movement, breathing or improvement in skin color for ten seconds. If victim has no signs of circulation, begin chest compressions. Chest compressions are more effective if the victim is on a solid surface like the floor, not on a bed or sofa.
  6. RECHECK FOR SIGNS OF CIRCULATION: After initial cycle of chest compresions give two more ventilations. Check for signs of circulation. If there are no signs of circulation, continue cycles uninterrupted until the casualty begins to improve or advanced medical help arrives.
  7. Note: If for whatever reason you are uncomfortable with mouth-to-mouth breathing, at the very least do chest compressions until help arrives.

CPR ADULT ( over 8 years of age )

HAND POSITION: Two interlocked hands in the centre of the upper chest
COMPRESS: 1-1/2 to 2 inches
BREATHE: Slowly until chest gently rises 
CYCLE: 30 compressions and 2 breaths 
RATE:  Compressions are given at the rate of approximately 100 per minute

CPR CHILD ( 1 - 8 years of age )

HAND POSITION: Two interlocked hands in the centre of the upper chest
COMPRESS: 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of chest 
BREATHE: Slowly until chest gently rises 
CYCLE: 30 compressions and 2 breaths 
RATE:  Compressions are given at the rate of approximately 100 per minute

CPR INFANT ( Under 1 year of age )

HAND POSITION: Two fingers in the centre of the upper chest
COMPRESS: 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of chest
BREATHE: Slowly until chest gently rises 
CYCLE: 30 compressions and 2 breaths 
RATE:  Compressions are given at the rate of approximately 100 per minute

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A HEART ATTACK

There are several ways to reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Following this advice could save your life or the life of someone you love.

  1. Don't smoke cigarettes and avoid Inhaling the smoke of others. Cigarette smoking is the most important single cause of preventable death in Canada.
  2. Exercise regularly. Participate in continuous, vigorous physical activity for at least 20 to 30 minutes (or more) at least three times a week.
  3. Maintain proper weight and eat nutritious food in moderate amounts. Eat a well-balanced diet that's low in cholesterol and saturated fats, and moderate in sodium (salt). Fatty foods contribute to atherosclerosis which is a major contributor to heart attacks. Eating too much sodium can also cause high blood pressure in some people.
  4. Have your blood pressure checked regularly and have regular medical check-ups. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the heart and other organs.