Do not hesitate – Dial 999 as soon as you suspect that you, or someone else is having a heart attack.

What are the symptons of a heart attack?

  • chest pain – feeling pressure, tightness or squeezing pains in the centre of your chest
  • Pain in other parts of the body –feelinf of pain radiating from the chest to arms (usually the left arm is affected, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and abdomen
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and or vomiting
  • Overwhelming sense of doom, anxiety, panic attack
  • Coughing or wheezing

Do not look specifally for severe chesp pains, some may experience just a minor pain,the feeling of indigestion. or no chest pain at all, this is often with women, elderly and people diabetics.

When should you call an ambulance?

Do not waste time thinking about it or waiting for the pain to get worse, always ssume a heart attack and dial 999 to ask for an ambulance immediately. You will never be accused of wasting resources.

Ambulance crews would rather be called out to a mistake than save a person’s life due to delays in calling them..

What to do before the ambulance arrives

Resting is important during the wait for an ambulance, it avoids unnecessary strain on the heart.

If the emergency operator suggests chewing on an aspirin, do so.

Is Heart Attack The Same as Cardiac Arrest?

No, heart attack and cardiac arrest are diffent.
A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly.

Signs and symptoms suggesting a person has gone into cardiac arrest include:

  • the person is not breathing, moving and not responding.

If you think a person has gone into cardiac arrest and you are in a public place, ask someone to seek an AED – this is a piece of equipment called an automated external defibrillator. If you do get one, simply open it and folloe the instructions – they are simple and clear.

In the meantime you should perform chest compressions, as this can help restart the heart.

  1. Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone at the centre of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
  2. Using your body weight (not just your arms), press straight down by 5-6cm on their chest.
  3. Repeat this until an ambulance arrives.

Aim to do the chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 compressions a minute.

The above advice only applies to adults.