What will you do when someone gets a heart attack?
A study by The International Congestive Heart Failure (INTER-CHF) has found that India ranks first among all countries when it comes to heart failure deaths at a whopping 23%, while China is at 7%.
Here is what you can do immediately when someone has a heart attack:
1. Never ignore or neglect a person when he/she complains of as chest pain.
2. Loosen his/her clothes.
3. Make the person sit in a partially reclined position and cough intermittently in case of shortness of breath.
4. Make sure the place where the patient is kept is well-ventilated.
5. Administer one Sorbitrate tablet under the tongue. However, if there is profuse sweating or low pulse rate or drop in blood pressure, avoid the medicine.
6. The patient can be given a spoonful of glucose powder on or under the tongue frequently. But in no way, he/she be given sweetened drinks.
7. If the person falls unconscious, go for immediate CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) – give him/her a chest thrust and mouth-to-mouth respiration.
8. Don’t try non-scientific modes of treatment and waste time on experimentation.
9. The patient should reach hospital within one hour of the attack (this time-frame is known as the “golden hour”).
10. At the hospital, don’t go for the outdoor section. Take the patient to the emergency section. Don’t waste time on consent issues. Instead give a blanket consent for fast treatment in this do-or-die situation.
11. Primary angioplasty is known to help immediately after heart attack, if conducted within the first 90 minutes.
(Suggestions by: British Red Cross, WebMD, St. John Ambulance, Mayo Clinic, MedlinePlus)
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.