What to do if you think you are having a heart attack
How a personal emergency response system can save a life
It’s not something that we ever want to think about, but the risk is real and the reaction needs to be prompt. If you or someone you care about is experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, your natural instinct may be to panic, but time is of the essence. Having access to a personal emergency response system like EyeOn app can help alert family and caregivers nearby in the case of a heart attack and set in motion the necessary course of action. According to the American Heart Association, over a million people experience a heart attack each year. Of those people, a little less than half die. Many of those victims pass away because they didn’t receive timely medical treatment. According to Prevention Magazine, your chances of surviving a heart attack go up 50 percent if you receive treatment within the hour.
In honor of National Heart Month, we are providing a quick guide describing what to do if you think you or a loved one is having a heart attack.
- Call 911: If you or someone you love starts experiencing a combination the following symptoms, a fullness or pressure in your chest, pain radiating into your limbs, shortness of breath, anxiety, profuse sweating, sense of impending doom (more common in women), call 911 immediately. We often pass symptoms off as not being symbolic of a greater problem, but if any of these occur, it’s critical that you take immediate action. No one will blame you for overreacting. Also, it’s important that you don’t drive yourself, unless you absolutely have to. Part of it is for safety, but you also greatly increase the chances of receiving immediate medical attention if brought in by an ambulance.
- Stay calm: While waiting for the ambulance to arrive it’s important to remain as calm as possible. Obviously, this can be a scary time but the key to surviving (or making sure that your loved one survives) is remaining calm and rested until the ambulance reaches you.
- Take aspirin: Chewing an aspirin slows the clotting process in arteries, thus reducing the damage that the heart attack is causing.
- Do CPR: If your loved one is unconscious, perform CPR on them or find someone that can do so prior to the paramedics arriving. Time is already of the essence in this situation. However, when the person is unconscious, it becomes that much more important to take immediate action.
- Know what to tell the EMT: What you tell the paramedic is as critical as getting them to you. Be sure to tell the paramedic that you or your loved one may be having a heart attack. You must also tell them that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes, you have to express the urgency of a situation to receive an urgent reaction.
If you or a loved one has a history of heart problems, preparation is a critical part of preservation. The EyeOn App is a personal emergency response system that checks in on you or your family member at pre-determined intervals. If you do not respond, your loved one or caregiver is notified immediately. It can provide peace of mind and save lives.