Of course, you would probably cry out for help if you had a heart attack while at work, or on a busy street. But have you ever wondered what you should do if you are alone and you think that you are experiencing a heart attack? Knowing what you should do if you have a heart attack when alone is essential, as most heart attacks actually happen when there is nobody else around.
Knowing the Symptoms of a Heart Attack
A blood clot or other blockage in an artery can cause the heart to literally die, leading to what we call a heart attack. The symptoms listed below may not be experienced by everyone, and you may often experience only a couple of them. Some symptoms are sudden, while others are more gradual, and men and women typically experience different symptoms. The following are the more common signs that you are having a heart attack:
* A pressing or squeezing sensation, or a general heaviness of the central area or left part of the chest, lasting for at least 20 minutes. The neck, upper left arm or jaw may also feel painful or heavy.
* Excessive sweating.
* Short of breath.
* feeling of nausea.
* The central upper area of the abdomen may experience pain or a heavy feeling.
* Pain in the left leg or back, and symptoms that resemble those of flu are also common in women.
If you are able to dial 911, you should do so as soon as possible if you experience discomfort, heaviness or pain around your heart. Tell the operator exactly where you are, as well as describing your symptoms. Always pull over when driving, if you experience the symptoms above, even if they seem to be mild and not significant, before dialing 911. Even if the hospital is close by, don’t try to drive there.
You may only have a few seconds before you become unconscious, depending on how severe the symptoms are. Although it can be difficult, try to remain calm and don’t lose consciousness, if you suspect that you are having a heart attack.
If you are having any of the above symptoms, here is what to do:
Try to cough deep and hard, followed by a deep breath, and then another cough. Until help comes, you must repeat this coughing and breathing routine every couple of seconds without pausing. Coughing acts as a compression, and oxygen can enter your lungs if you breath deeply. Blood can start to circulate effectively once more, once you carry out these two actions to get your heart working again.
Blood platelets can be prevented from sticking to each other if you take aspirin, and this can help the flow of blood by reducing clots. Even if you don’t have something to drink and you have to chew the aspirin, taking it can help to save your life if you are having a heart attack and are alone.
You probably have a prescription for a beta blocking drug if you are diagnosed with a heart condition. As soon as you feel that you are having a heart attack, you should take the prescribed drug if available.
Give yourself oxygen if you have it available and have been prescribed bottled oxygen.
Thump yourself on the chest just above the heart as hard as you can if you find it difficult to cough. This can prevent your heart from having to work too hard to pump by itself, and can stimulate coughing.
Knowing the symptoms and knowing what to do if you are alone can literally save your life if you have a heart attack. If you have been diagnosed as having a heart condition, regular medical check ups are essential, although everyone can benefit from seeing their doctor regularly. Healthy lifestyle changes can also significantly lower your chances of having a heart attack. These include a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, lowering stress and quitting smoking.