SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Do you know what to do if your loved one has a heart attack?
February is heart health month, and for a good reason. One in four deaths in the U.S. is from heart disease, killing over 600,000 Americans every year.
There are many ways you can lower your chances of heart disease that can lead to a heart attack. Controlling your blood pressure, cholesterol and not smoking are just a few. But what if you or someone suffers a sudden heart attack? Do you know what to do? Do your family members know what to do?
When someone has a heart attack, a quick and calm response can be lifesaving. One of the best ways to be prepared is to learn CPR and how to operate an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED). These two things can significantly raise survival chances.
If you don’t know CPR and don’t have an AED, here are the steps to follow to get help for the victim as soon as possible.
- First, stay as calm as you can. It may be easier said than done, but the more relaxed you are, the more help you will be to the patient.
- Call 911 to get paramedics on their way.
- Stay on the line with dispatch and follow their instructions. They may suggest giving the patient an aspirin or their heart medication if they have a prescription.
- A dispatcher can also walk you through CPR if the patient is unconscious.
- If possible, make your house accessible to emergency responders by unlocking the front door and securing any animals into another room. Having visible house numbers on your home will make it easier for emergency responders to find you.
Each year, tens of thousands of Americans survive heart attacks and go back to their regular routines. But it is vital to act quickly.
If you or someone you live or work with has a heart condition, consider preparing for this to happen in your home or workplace. In the home, think about involving the kids. Learning lifesaving skills can only be helpful and lower the chance of panic, saving valuable time.
CPR/AED classes are quick, inexpensive and even free at many fire departments and workplaces. There is no better time than now to learn how to save a life.
For additional information on risk factors, recognizing symptoms of a heart attack and how to attend CPR/AED classes, check out these links:
American Heart Association
American Red Cross | Help Those Affected by Disasters