Increasing Your Chances For Surviving A Heart Attack When Alone
Very few things are scarier than facing a heart attack when all alone. Being prepared for it may not reduce the fear, but it will increase your chances for survival. Following the advice below might be the difference between life and death someday.
Knowing that you are having a heart attack the instant it happens is key to protecting yourself. The sooner you start to react to what is going on, the more likely you are to survive. The common symptoms that you might feel are:
• Feeling depressed and unhappy for a prolonged period of time
• A tightening of the chest area
• Having a hard time breathing
• Extreme pain in your chest or upper abdomen
• A faster heartbeat and heart palpitations
• An uneasy feeling in your upper arms, neck, jaws, and teeth
• Sweating profusely
• Nausea, found exclusively in women
Actions You Can Take
Once these symptoms start, the problems with progress rapidly, so you need to act fast. Follow these ideas as quickly as you can to try and stop or slow down the heart attack:
• If you are taking any medications for a heart condition, make sure to carry those medicines with you at all times. If any of the above symptoms begin, take your medication immediately.
• Call for help immediately. Always have a cell phone with you, no matter where you go.
• Keep loved ones’ phone numbers in speed dial on your phone, and contact them after you contact emergency responders so they can continue to help you.
• If you are driving, pull over immediately. You could lose consciousness very quickly, so even if a hospital or medical facility is nearby, do not try to make it there! If you are on an airplane, tell the attendants right away so they can take appropriate action.
• Assuming your doctor has cleared you for aspirin, carry a bottle of 325mg or higher on your person at all times. It has been suggested that once an attack has begun, that chewing slowly on aspirin can help slow down the attack and give you and others more time to respond.
• While it might be difficult, try to relax your body as much as possible, as the more physical activity you take on, the faster the heart attack will go. Count backwards from ten and take small but relaxed breaths.
• Try to get someone to thump on your chest vigorously. It is hard to do by yourself, but can help if done by someone else.
• Try to cool your body temperature with a cool cloth. Put it under the armpits or on the wrists to speed up the process.
• During the heart attack, lay down on a bed or on the ground, and get your feet raised up, lifting your diaphragm.
While none of these suggestions are guaranteed to stop a heart attack, they are ways to help you buy some time until you get to a hospital. Take every sign and symptom of a heart attack very seriously, and make sure to get help as soon as possible.