How To Handle Cardiac Emergencies
Need to know how to handle cardiac emergencies? First, it is important to realize the symptoms that you may be having a cardiac emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. Pain in the chest that spreads to the left arm is a sign that something may be going on with your heart and you should seek medical health. Discomfort that almost mirrors the feeling of indigestion, sudden faintness or dizziness, sweating, nausea, breathlessness, ashen skin, blue lips, and rapid and then thinning pulse are all signs that your heart may be having trouble pumping blood. It is important to understand that pain is not always a sign of a cardiac emergency and that any of these symptoms should be taken seriously. Statistics show that if you receive help in the first hour, your chances dramatically increase. Many people begin to have symptoms but simply choose to ignore them until it’s too late because they are too embarrassed to go to the emergency room and find out that it was nothing.
If you are with someone having a Cardiac Emergency:
- Keep the Person Comfortable. If you are with someone who is having a cardiac emergency, the first thing to do is to keep them comfortable. If they are standing, help them sit down and have them lean against something. Make sure to support their head, shoulders, and knees.
- Keep Calm. Keep calm, and make sure to keep the patient calm as well.
- Administer Medication. If the patient has an angina inhaler or medication, help administer it to the patient if he or she is still conscious.
- Call 9-1-1. As fast as possible, call your local EMS or 9-1-1 for help. Tell the operator that the patient is having a cardiac emergency. As you wait for the ambulance to arrive, monitor the patients breathing and pulse.
- While Waiting for the Ambulance. Keep bystanders at a distance to help keep the patient relaxed as possible and comfortable. If possible, record the victim’s pulse and breathing on a piece of paper or even on a cell phone if it has a notepad application.
- CPR. If the victim does become unconscious, be prepared to resuscitate by using CPR methods.
If you are having a Cardiac Emergency:
- Stop and Lie Down. The first step is to stop whatever you are doing and sit or lie down.
- Take Prescription Medication. If your doctor has prescribed nitroglycerin tablets, take up to three, one at a time, at five minute intervals. If the pain still does not subside, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room immediately.
- Call 9-1-1. If you do not have nitroglycerin tablets, wait two minutes to see if the pain goes away. If the pain does not go away, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room immediately and take an aspirin. If someone does take you to the emergency room, do not let the staff keep you waiting. Tell them you are suffering from a cardiac emergency and need to be seen immediately.
- Do Not Drive. Do not drive under any circumstance. If you can get there faster by driving, have someone else drive you.