A heart attack can come on suddenly. However, there are signals that the body sends and that we must know in order to know how to act in the event of a heart attack.

Although the fear of having a heart attack is common in many people, especially if they have already had this type of vascular accident or if they suffer from an associated chronic disease, such as high blood pressure , not everyone knows how to act before a heart attack. .

It is appropriate to point out that, contrary to what one might think, a heart attack is not always fatal. As long as it is proceeded in a timely and adequate manner, attending to the signals sent by the body, the sequelae can be reduced. Thus, in this article, we will see how you can act if it is detected.

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Symptoms to identify a heart attack

The term infarction refers to an obstruction of the tissues of an organ or a part of it , due to the interruption of blood flow . Although this can occur in the brain, intestine or stomach, we will focus in this article, in particular, on myocardial infarction .

To know how to act in the face of a heart attack, we first have to recognize that it is happening. These are some of the signs:

  • Chest pain: sharp, oppressive and intense .
  • Cold sweat all over the body with dizziness and disorientation, sometimes accompanied by cloudy vision.
  • Feeling of weakness or fatigue.
  • Tingling or numbness in the arm: especially on the left side.
  • Palpitations: it is the sensation of perceiving your own pulsations .
  • Difficulty breathing.

However, some of these symptoms can occur in other situations, such as when there is low blood pressure . But if they all show up together, it is already a red flag. More when the presence of the main symptoms occurs in a short time, under the cardinal sign that is chest pain.

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This pain is crushing and oppressive. It can be acute at first, being located in the area of ​​the sternum, and then proceed to the sensation that it radiates towards the extremities or towards the neck. Not all chest pain denotes a heart attack, and not every heart attack implies acute pain. Sometimes this can also be a symptom of angina pectoris .

Man helps a heart attack.
Recognizing the signs of a heart attack is important to start acting. One of them is chest pain.

How to act before a heart attack?

When you experience the above symptoms, keep the following recommendations in mind:

  • If you’re driving, try to pull over, stop the car, get out of it, and sit down.
  • In case you find yourself walking, sit down.
  • While sitting, stay calm on the spot.

In all cases, try to be calm and ask for help from the people around you to call a doctor or health professional. Notifying the health service is an essential step that accelerates the appropriate response and prevents fatal outcomes.

Once this first moment has been completed, what follows when acting against the heart attack is to loosen tight clothing, such as a tie or belt. If you consume any medication for heart ailments , please direct someone to help you take it, as long as you have a prescription to do so in acute pain.

On the other hand, there are considerations to be taken as prohibitive. You shouldn’t try to drive to a hospital or home with these symptoms. Believing that you can handle the situation alone or that it will pass is a mistake .

How to act if someone else is having a heart attack?

In case we are not the ones with the heart attack, but another person around us who shows symptoms, we can help to the best of our ability. It is also important to know what not to do: you should not leave the person alone or be convinced that they do not need help .

Given the situation, proceed as indicated in the previous section:

  • Get the person to sit up and try to stay calm .
  • Ask what you feel and what symptoms you experience.
  • Help loosen tight garments.
  • Call to emergency.
  • Ask the person if they take any heart medicine and help them take it if they have a prescription to do so.
  • If you lose consciousness, you can try CPR , as long as you know how to do it.

If someone is already helping the person, try not to bother. It is important to keep your distance so as not to get in the way and participate only if necessary, so that the steps in the chain of survival protocol are not interrupted. It also collaborates by helping to prevent people from crowding around.

Warning to emergencies before a heart attack.
Notifying the emergency services is key to improving the survival of people with a heart attack.

Always ask for help

If cardiac arrest is longer than five minutes, brain functions can be affected. If it is longer than eight minutes, the person has a high probability of dying. However, there is time to act and ask for help. And trust that we will be able to obtain it.

The chain of survival is based on the notification to the nearest emergency service. Therefore, it should be clear that the good results of cardiopulmonary resuscitation depend on the participation of health professionals and, if necessary, a cardioverter-defibrillator.

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