How to Survive a Heart Attack when Alone

Heart attacks can be survived if you have prepared yourself for such times. Keeping in mind that heart attacks are leading cause of deaths in the world, one should be able to help himself if he has symptoms of heart attack. Following are some of the points you should keep in mind in case of need.

Be Precautious
Heart attacks might be caused by smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, excessive use of fats, improper diet or high level of cholesterol. To avoid heart attack one should first avoid all the behaviors that cause heart attack. Stop taking excess amount of fats. Walk regularly.

Know the Symptoms
The most common symptoms of heart attack are:

  • Tightness or fullness in chest
  • Nausea, particularly in women
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme pain in the chest
  • Heart palpitations
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Pain or uneasiness in the arms, jaws, neck or teeth
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Abundant sweating
  • Fainting
  • A sudden feeling of illness

What to do?

  • Everyone should carry their medications with them at all times
  • Call 911 immediately and explain them the symptoms. And follow their instructions
  • If medical facility is nearby, try to reach to them if possible
  • If you feel the symptoms while you are driving, pull over immediately. It takes only seconds to pass out. Don’t keep driving even if you are very close to the hospital. You may lose your consciousness at any point
  • Keep your family or neighbors aware of your situation and keep their numbers on speed dial
  • If you are on an airplane and you think you might have a heart attack, inform the flight attendant immediately. They carry the medications all the time. CPR can be performed if necessary
  • Take an aspirin of 325 mg at the first sign of the heart attack. Aspirin makes blood platelets less likely to stick to each other, supporting blood flow and decreasing clots. Chewing the aspirin is more effective than swallowing the whole tablet. Consult your doctor first if aspirin will be effective because aspirin may worsen things sometimes. If you have been prescribed nitrates, take them at the onset of a heart attack. Don’t take them if your doctor has advised you not to
  • Take a beta-blocking drug immediately upon feeling symptoms of heart attack. This drug should be taken only if prescribed; if you have a heart condition, you are probably already prescribed with this medication
  • If you cannot reach to a medical facility quickly, try to remain relaxed and move as little as possible. Action will likely worsen the harm of a heart attack
  • Manage oxygen to yourself. You are likely to have bottled oxygen near you if you are a patient with diagnosed heart problem
  • Sometimes heart attacks are not accompanied by any symptoms at all. These can still be harmful or fatal, especially because you don’t get much warning
  • Thump your chest as hard as possible. This can be very helpful if done by someone else but can be hard to do by yourself
  • Use a wet cloth under the armpits to cool your body temperature. It has been shown that lowering body temperature even increases survival rate in many cases, to some extent
  • Despite your body’s natural characteristic to breathe heavily and rapidly during a heart attack, it is actually the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Think of soothing memories and relax yourself, while counting down to 1 or any two syllable word each second. This slows down the rate of the heartbeat
  • Now that your heart rate has been lowered and your body is somewhat relaxed, start increasing the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your heart. This does not mean you should start breathing heavily again. But you should lie back on the ground and lift up your legs. Open some windows or doors, or stay in front of a fan or an air conditioner. As long as you have a steady stream of fresh air near you, breathe it in
  • Don’t take in any food or water: Eating or drinking anything will only complicate things and the treatment from paramedics will be a problem
  • Lying back on a couch or ground and raising your legs upwards, lifts up your diaphragm, which makes it much easier to breathe. This position is also used to treat shock

Heart attack can be fatal since the heart is responsible for the all the blood to reach every part of your body. Following these instruction can makes you increase the chances of surviving this deadly attack.