Fire Safety & Awarness

What is The First Aid Treatment for Heart Attack

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

A medical emergency never rings the doorbell. A severe illness or medical trauma might show in the most unanticipated way. Professional clinical treatment may be unavailable or late in that situation.

Emergencies like heart attacks can appear out of nowhere. In such cases, what is the first-aid treatment for heart attack? Knowing that is crucial. Being able to administer first aid during a heart attack can save lives.

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to a portion of the heart is unexpectedly cut off, typically by a blood clot. After a heart attack, you can fully recover, but it may depend on how much of the heart is damaged.

According to theBritish Heart Foundation, one death occurs every three minutes or 460 times per day on average in the UK due to heart and circulatory illnesses, which account for more than 160,000 deaths annually.

Causes of a heart attack

Heart attacks are most commonly caused by coronary heart disease (CHD). It is also known as myocardial infarction.

The primary blood arteries that supply the heart become clogged with cholesterol plaques, a disease known as CHD.

One of the plaques ruptures just before a heart attack, which results in the formation of a blood clot at the location of the rupture.

A heart attack could result from the clot obstructing the heart’s blood flow.

Cholesterol level of a man’s heart


Symptoms of Heart Attack

A medical emergency may cause a great deal of stress. You have to, at the very least, be familiar with the symptoms of a heart attack before providing first aid. The symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset can occur whilst resting.
  • Pain is often described as ‘Vicelike’.
  • Tightness or pain in the chest can spread to the arm, neck, jaw, back, stomach or shoulders.
  • Pain that feels like pressure lasting more than 30 minutes.
  • Skin: Pale, grey clammy, sweating profusely.
  • Shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, feeling of ‘Impending Doom’.

It should be noted that not everyone experiences symptoms in the same way. The severity of the mentioned symptoms can also vary. Additionally, it’s normal for someone to only show one symptom.

Symptoms of heart attack on multiple kids


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First Aid Treatment for Heart Attack

Heart attack first aid should be provided with utmost care. You can deal with this kind of difficult scenario by using the following 5 step advice.

A cardiologist analyzing the heart of a patient


Calling for Medical Help 

The first thing you should do is call medical help if you think someone you know is experiencing a heart attack. You should immediately call 999 or local emergency number and request an ambulance or make contact with local medical facilities.

Examine the Affected Person’s Health and Environment 

Check the person’s pulse on their wrist to see if they have one. Make sure they are breathing and getting enough air. They should be in an open space, and loosen their clothes if it’s tight.

Give Them One 300 mg Aspirin Dose

Instruct them to chew and swallow it gently. If the patient is under 16 or allergic to aspirin, do not administer it to them. If the victim has any angina medicine, ask them to take it.

If the Person is Not Unconscious

Make sure they are at ease by having them sit on the floor and lean against a chair or a wall, for example. The stress on the heart will decrease as you sit. They are also less likely to injure themselves if you place them on the ground.

If not Breathing

If the person doesn’t seem to be breathing, you should start CPR right away.

About CPR

When the heart stops beating, CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a life-saving emergency treatment. After cardiac arrest, immediate CPR can double or triple the survival rate of a heart attack victim.

Hands-only CPR includes giving repeated and rapid chest compressions in a rhythm of about 100-120 per minute until medical helpers arrive.

Make sure to keep on monitoring the patient until professional help comes. Since it is a matter of life and death, handle it with care and sincerity.

A man is giving CPR, an emergency life-saving treatment for a heart patient to a lying man


What Not to Do?

The assistance and care you can provide during a heart attack will be limited if you are not a healthcare provider. While knowing the appropriate action to take is crucial, it is vital to understand what not to do.

Things to avoid when administering first aid for a heart attack are detailed in the list below:

  1. Don’t leave the patient alone until medical assistance arrives.
  2. Do not put off calling the ambulance and do not disregard the signs of a heart attack.
  3. Don’t administer any over-the-counter or unauthorized medications to the patient.

Prevention of Heart Attack

You can lower your chance of having a heart attack (or having another heart attack) by following these 4 significant steps:

  • Smokers need to give up.
  • Lose weight if they are overweight or obese.
  • Eat at least five pieces of fruit and vegetables each day, along with healthy grains and a low-fat, high-fibre diet.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you consume.

A group of people are doing exercises


Recovery From Heart Attack

The severity of the damage done to your heart muscle will determine how long it takes for you to heal after a heart attack.

Most people who experience a heart attack are able to go back to work after two weeks. Others can need several months to fully recover. Your health, the condition of your heart, and the type of work you do will all influence how soon you can return to work.

The recovery procedure aims to:

  • Changing your lifestyle, such as eating a nutritious diet and using medications, such as statins, which help lower blood cholesterol levels, can minimize your risk of having another heart attack.
  • Slowly regain your physical fitness so you can get back to your regular activities (cardiac rehabilitation


When giving first aid for a heart attack, timing is crucial. In order to help the person until professional medical care arrives, you need to act quickly and wisely.

Also, the heart is an important organ of ours, and if not taken care of with proper knowledge, it can cause harm to the patient.

So, getting trained in first aid is a no-brainer for everyone, regardless of where they work or live. It’s a skill that will come handy even to your family members. Go check our online course on Emergency First Aid Training.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

What distinguishes a heart attack from a cardiac arrest?

Ans: Cardiac arrest can happen after a heart attack.

When a heart attack occurs, a blockage suddenly prevents blood from reaching the heart, impairing its ability to function. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart fully stops beating as a result of this.

A person experiencing a cardiac arrest will pass out, lose consciousness, and stop breathing.

What is angina?

Ans: A tightness in the chest is called angina.

The arteries narrow, limiting the flow of blood to the heart and causing the tight sensation. Exercise or excitement are frequent triggers for angina. Contrary to a heart attack, symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath improve with rest and the use of prescription medicine.

Can shock cause a Heart Attack?

Ans: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, sometimes known as “broken heart syndrome,” is a cardiac event that can be brought on by sudden stress and feels similar to a heart attack. The arterial blockages that cause a heart attack are not linked to this stress-induced cardiomyopathy, but it may make your heart pump less effectively.

Heart Attacks and strokes are they related?

Ans: Strokes and heart attacks are strongly related. Both are frequently brought on by the same medical conditions, like cardiovascular disease. They also have a lot of similar risk factors in common, such as lifestyle choices and family history.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.