Surviving a Heart Attack while alone

Surviving a Heart Attack while alone – PLEASE READ.

Let’s say it’s 6.15pm and you’re going home (alone of course), after an unusually hard day on the job. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself..!!

These could be signs of a heart attack:

Discomfort in the chest, especially the center, that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes. The discomfort may feel like heaviness, fullness, squeezing, or pain.

Discomfort in the upper body parts such as the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. This may feel like pain or general discomfort.
Shortness of breath. This may come with or without chest discomfort.

Unusual sensations such as a cold sweat, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, or dizziness. Women are more likely than men to experience these kinds of symptoms.


1. (First thing to do) Call for emergency help

Should you experience a heart attack – regardless of whether you’re alone or in the presence of others – the very first thing to do is to call for emergency medical help ). You need specialised treatment to be delivered to you as quickly as possible in order to save your heart muscle.

What to do while waiting for medical help to arrive

2. Take aspirin

When you’re still conscious, take a normal dose of aspirin (325 milligrams) if you have one on hand. Aspirin works by slowing the blood’s ability to clot. During a heart attack, aspirin slows blood clotting and minimizes the size of the blood clots that might have formed.

Once the EMS arrive, they will transport you to the hospital, where you receive care for the specific type of heart attack you had.

3. Lie down and stay calm

Don’t panic! Stay calm, lie down and rest while waiting for help.

Is there a fast way to stop a heart attack?

No, there is not a fast way to stop a heart attack without seeking emergency medical treatment at a hospital. Online you’ll find many “fast” heart attack treatments. However, these “fast” treatments are not effective and could be dangerous by delaying emergency medical treatment.

What not to do during a heart attack

1. Do not rely on just taking nitroglycerin

Taking a prescribed medication such as nitroglycerin that temporarily widens blood vessels to improve blood supply to the heart is unlikely to stop a heart attack. You still need to call for help.

Angina results from an imbalance in the supply and demand for blood to the heart, but it is due to a narrowed blood vessel and not to a clot that needs to be broken down. Taking nitroglycerin during such a situation may temporarily expand the narrowed blood vessel and relieve discomfort.

2. Do not cough repeatedly

For self-administered “treatments” such as coughing repeatedly, Assoc Prof Chin cautions that these are probably just urban legends.

3. Do not apply pressure on the chest

Similar to coughing repeatedly will not help during a heart attack, applying pressure on the chest area during a heart attack is unlikely to help too, unless the person’s heart has stopped beating (also known as a cardiac arrest).

When a cardiac arrest happens, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) should be administered – ideally by someone who is trained to do so.

How to decrease risk factors associated with a heart attack

While you can’t control all your heart attack risk factors, such as aging, gender (men are at higher risk), and heredity, there are some that you can control. To prevent your risk of a heart attack:

  • Stop smoking and minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Get your high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure under control by modifying your diet, losing weight, taking medication, or doing a combination of these things.
  • Stay physically active daily.
  • Control your weight if you’re overweight or obese.
  • If you have diabetes, take care by sticking to your treatment plan and managing your blood sugar.
  • Get a handle on the stress in your life by practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or yoga, or try talk therapy.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Consume a healthy and balanced diet, rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals.,

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