The First Aid for Heart Attack

heart attack

Important: This is a brief guide to emergency assistance which may be provided in the event of a heart attack or cardiac arrest before arrival of the emergency services. The intention of this article is not a substitute for a course of resuscitation or first aid.

What if someone has a heart attack?

If someone has a heart attack or cardiac arrest, there are only a few minutes to act before it is too late. It is vital to know what to do beforehand.

To effectively perform CPR and artificial respiration (the “word of mouth”), it is essential to have been taught and practiced frequently with resuscitation mannequins or dolls.

First Aid Courses are offered in Spain by non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross.

How can you tell if someone is having a heart attack?

If the person is unconscious:

If the victim has a pulse but is not breathing:

  • Are you breathing? Looking at the victim’s chest to see if it moves. Place the cheek in the nose of the victim to try to feel your breath, or trying to listen with the ear. If not breathing, we check that there is nothing in the mouth and if he had withdrawn his fingers being careful not to push it inside, then try to do two breaths through “word of mouth” (see below).
  • Do you have a pulse? Place two fingers on the neck of the victim, anywhere, at the height of the nut, but not on it but one or two finger widths out, to try to feel called carotid pulse.

If the victim is not breathing and has no pulse, it is a cardiac arrest

  • In this case when seeking assistance must clearly indicate that it is a cardiac arrest but staying with the victim.
  • Find out if anyone present knows how to perform CPR.
  • Immediately begin artificial respiration or “word of mouth” (see below).
  • Follow immediately with CPR.

How do artificial respiration or “word of mouth”?

  • Remove any broken tooth, but leave the dentures have not been misplaced in place. Clean the mouth of mucus, vomiting or anything else that may obstruct the airway from the mouth to the lungs.
  • Place the victim on his back.
  • Extend the head back and pull your chin up, putting two fingers behind the angle of the jaw, so that the tongue does not block the airway.
  • Pinch the victim’s nose with his fingers, so that air does not escape, and placing your mouth over the victim’s mouth, blow into his mouth watching the victim’s chest rises. After blowing withdraw our mouth allowing the victim’s chest is “deflate” before returning to blow in his mouth. If done correctly, it looks like the chest inflates and deflates.
  • If possible, give at least 12 breaths per minute for an adult and a little more for children.

How is CPR?

Place one hand on the bottom of the victim’s sternum (bone in the center of the chest between the ribs). Place the other hand on this interlaced fingers and press down rhythmically. To prevent injuries, should remain outstretched arms and the lower hand in contact with the victim all the time.

Pressing on the sternum approximately 100 times per minute in adults and in children, trying to depress the sternum about 4 to 5 cm in adults and in children less.

Resuscitation is effective if you can feel a pulse in the neck or groin of the victim.

Artificial respiration and CPR should be performed at the same time, for which:

If the victim recovers and starts breathing pulse but remains unconscious, gently place the patient in the lateral position called security, for which you have to rotate the patient carefully and put in side closest to the ground leg bent upward to prevent the victim from rolling forwards. The arms also flexed and hands should be placed on the face to hold. This will facilitate the exit of avoiding mucus vomiting or accumulate and block the breathing of the victim. Also avoid falling back of the tongue, which can block the passage of air.

  • If possible, get help from someone else. One perform artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary resuscitation another.
  • Start with 5 chest compressions followed by a rescue breathing and so on, when two people performing CPR. If only one rescuer, then be 15 compressions followed by two breaths.
  • Check for a pulse in the neck or groin when you observe any movement in the victim.
  • Continue until the ambulance arrives, or reset pulse or respiration.

Ensure that the victim continues to breathe and pulse until the ambulance arrives

If resuscitation is successful, the victim may feel confused and alarmed by all the commotion. Arroparles and reassure them by telling them what has happened calmly and clearly.

We must re-emphasize that the only way to provide adequate first aid is to learn the technique and then practicing it regularly.

Dr. Henrik Omark Petersen , Thoracic Surgery Specialist, Dr. Neal Uren , a specialist in cardiology, Dr. Reginald Odbert , GP