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Heart Attack Symptoms and First Aid

By Justin Haagen on Jun 28, 2016 in Managing Medical Emergencies, Simple Life-Saving Skills

Heart Attack - Acute Coronary Syndrome

Heart Attack - Women

Acute coronary syndrome, or ACS, occurs when there is reduced blood flow to the tissues of the heart. Often described as a heart attack, ACS is a serious condition that can result in significant damage to the heart. Someone with ACS will generally experience;

  • Pain, severe pressure, or discomfort in the chest.
  • Shortness of breath, nausea, and lightheadedness can also occur.
  • The person’s skin may be pale, cool, and sweaty.
  • Women often do not experience these signs and will describe indigestion, weakness, or fatigue.

Activate EMS immediately, even if person does not want you to

If available, get an AED. Do not try to transport person to a hospital yourself. Allow person to find the most comfortable position in which to breathe. Loosen tight clothing. A person who is having a heart attack may deny it. This is a common occurrence in ACS. Accept it, but never let this alter the approach to care.

Calm, comfort, and reassure the victim

Whenever a heart attack is suspected, be prepared for the possibility of sudden cardiac arrest, and the need for CPR and the use of an AED. Continue to reassure the person until another provider or EMS personnel take over.