First Aid for Heart Attacks.

The information posted in this blog on heart attacks if for information purposes only. If you want to learn to recognize and treat for heart attacks take a standard or emergency first aid class with Vancouver First Aid.

Definition of Heart Attacks: Heart attacks occur when blood vessels carrying blood to the heart are being blocked. The heart, like all the organs in the human body, require oxygen to function. Without a blood supply carrying oxygen, the heart begins to die. If the heart dies, the human body has no way of supplying itself with blood and oxygen which leads to death. A lifestyle of unhealthy eating, smoking and lack of exercises increases the chances of heart attacks as an unhealthy lifestyles promotes the clogging of the vessels to the heart.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Difficulty Breathing. Shortness of Breath.
  • Sweating, flushed skin.
  • Chest Pain, pain in the chest area.
  • Uncomfortable or pain in the shoulder and arms.
  • Anxiety or fear.
  • Denial.
  • Shock.
  • Weak rapid pulse
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Lowered levels of consciousness.
  • Fatigue.

Treatment for Heart Attacks.

  • Contact EMS
  • Place the victim into a comfortable position which is usually a semi-sitting position. Promote the victim to sit on the floor, because if the victim goes unconscious, any other position can cause injury.
  • Loosen tight fitting clothing, especially around the neck and chest.
  • Reassure the victim.
  • Help the victim take medication if they have it. DO NOT administer the medication for the victim. Nitroglycerin is the most common medication. Erectile Dysfunction medication and blood thinners can cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
  • If the vicim has no prescribed medication you can advise them to take ASA (ex: Aspirin). Confirm that the victim is not allergic to ASA and if there doctor has told them not to take it. 1 adult ASA or two children ASA’s can be taken. A rescuer can no administer medication and can only advise the victim to take it. Do not substitute an ASA for any other pain medication (ex: Tylenol).
  • Monitor victims vitals
  • If trained, administer oxygen to the victim.


  • Factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking increase the chances of having a heart attack.
  • Even with a healthy lifestyle, due to genetic reasons, a person may suffer a heart attack.
  • Age and heredity have a role in the level of risk a person is to heart attacks (ex: Men are more likely to have a heart attack).
  • Signs and Symptoms of a heart attack for women can include many more symptoms. Signs and symptoms for men are usually much more clear.

If you want to learn to recognize and treat for Heart Attacks take one of many first aid courses in Vancouver. Vancouver First Aid offers no-pressure, comfortable and cheap first aid and cpr classes that are affiliated through the Red Cross and Lifesaving Society.

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