911 basics: Responding to a heart attack

POSTED: 11:43 AM Nov 07 2012   UPDATED: 1:30 PM Nov 19 2012
ekg with heart and stethoscope

By Barbara Floria, Pure Matters

"Heart attacks sometimes mimic simple health conditions, such as indigestion, so it's important to know the difference between these and other conditions," says Mark G. Perlroth, M.D., professor of medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

The following guidelines can help you make the right decisions and take the right steps when seconds count.

Simple causes of chest pain

Any of these conditions can cause chest pain:

It is important to know that any of these symptoms also can be present with a heart attack. Do not assume that you are just having indigestion or a panic attack. Get medical help right away.

Heart attack symptoms

The following signs are symptoms of a heart attack. Not all of these warning signs occur in every attack. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur:

Be prepared

Take the following emergency actions ahead of time if you or a family member has a heart condition or is at risk of a heart attack:

What to do

If you suspect someone you're with is having a heart attack:

While waiting for emergency help to arrive:

Help the victim get into a relaxed sitting position, with the legs up and bent at the knees, to ease strain on the heart.

"Loosen tight clothing around the neck and waist, and be calm and reassuring that medical help is on the way," says Dr. Perlroth.

Source: http://resources.purematters.com/prevention/heart-disease/911-basics-responding-to-a-heart-attack