First Aid: Heart Attacks
A heart attack is an emergency, but the condition that causes it usually takes years to develop. Over time, fatty substances collect on the walls of the heart's arteries. As these arteries become narrower, it's more likely that one will become fully clogged, causing a heart attack.
1. Call 911 NOW!
Call 911 for emergency medical services. Immediate medical care may keep the heart from stopping and may help minimize damage to the heart muscle.
2. Keep the Victim Calm
Convince the victim to stop all activities.
Reassure the victim to keep him or her calm, so the heart uses less oxygen.
Loosen any clothing that may restrict breathing, such as a tie, collar, or belt.
3. Monitor the Victim
Perform CPR if necessary.
The warning signs of heart attack can include any of the following: