If you or a loved one is having a heart attack, time is one of the most important factors between life and death. The sooner that trained medical professionals can perform life-saving interventions the better. What should you do if you witness someone having a heart attack?
If anyone around you seems to be having a heart attack, you should immediately call 911. The 911 dispatcher will send emergency medical professionals to your location and walk you through practical things you can do in the meantime.
As hard as it can be in an emergency situation, it is important to stay calm when calling 911. Speak clearly. If possible, do not scream and do not talk too fast. Your calmness makes it easier for the dispatcher to get accurate information about your location and details about the person who is having a heart attack. Accurate information, such as any medications they are taking, will help paramedics to get to your faster with the proper equipment.
How to Perform CPR
Often, it is not enough to simply wait for the paramedics. Performing CPR as soon as possible can help keep someone having a heart attack alive. 911 dispatchers are trained to walk callers through performing CPR. CPR is an acronym for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When you perform CPR, you manually keep a person’s heart pumping so that blood can keep flowing to the vital organs.
To perform CPR, lock both of your hands so that the palm of one hand rests on the back of another. Then, push hard and fast on the person’s chest. Interlocking your fingers together helps to make a firmer push. Hearts beat at a precise rhythm to give the blood enough pressure and speed to move throughout the body. An easy way of keeping that same pace is to push to the beat of a song. Staying Alive by the Bee Gees and Crazy In Love by Beyonce are two songs that have the right pace.
Heart attacks are scary for everyone who has one or witnesses one. Thankfully, help is just a phone call away when you call 911.