We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Give First Aid for a Heart Attack?

Jessica Ellis
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

First aid for a heart attack can help improve a victim's chance of survival. By taking fast, appropriate action, a victim suffering from a heart attack may be more likely to survive until paramedics arrive, and get to medical facilities faster. Some of the steps required in first aid for a heart attack include summoning emergency care, looking for the symptoms of cardiac arrest, helping the victim to relax until help arrives, and administering any medications the patient needs.

The first step in first aid for a heart attack is calling an ambulance, or getting the patient to a nearby emergency room immediately. While not all suspected heart attacks turn out to be the real thing, even a suspicion that cardiac arrest may be occurring warrants urgent medical attention. Emergency medical technicians are much better prepared to handle a patient in cardiac arrest than friends or family members, however well intentioned. Calling an ambulance should be done at the first sign of a heart attack, before any other action is taken.

Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack can help determine steps to be taken while waiting for help to arrive. If the patient is able to speak, ask him or her what type of pain is occurring, if he or she has any known heart problems, and if he or she has recently experienced chest pain while exercising. If the patient is having difficulty speaking, make sure that he or she is not choking on anything and is breathing normally. If the patient falls unconscious, administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and chest compressions. Call emergency dispatchers and ask for instructions on how to perform these steps if necessary.

First aid for a heart attack can also mean simply helping the patient relax until help arrives. Have the victim sit down and help him or her her loosen any tight clothing. Avoid outward signs of panic, and try to speak calmly to the victim. Reducing the anxiety of the patient and the situation can help the victim manage the stress and pain better. Do not allow the patient to lie down, go to sleep, or cancel the ambulance; if he or she is experiencing heart attack symptoms, it is important to get checked out immediately.

Medication can be an important part of first aid for a heart attack, but must be used with care. If the victim is taking prescription nitroglycerin for a known heart condition, health experts usually recommend administering a dose immediately. Aspirin can also help heart attack victims, but must be used warily as some people have a fatal allergy to aspirin. Unless the victim can affirm that he or she takes aspirin regularly and does not have an allergy to it, it may be safer to wait for emergency paramedics to arrive.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for The Health Board. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By Wisedly33 — On Jul 07, 2014

@Scrbblechick -- Very true about 911, but if the person isn't allergic to aspirin, I'd also give two full strength with a little water. My doctor advised me to do that when I was having chest pains. Thank the Lord it was just a panic attack! But I'd never had one before, so I had no idea what was going on. I just knew I thought I was having a heart attack. Of course, with a panic attack, the fear feeds the panic, which magnifies every symptom.

Most people know if they're allergic to aspirin. I'd say give a BC or Goody's powder if there are any around, since those tend to work very quickly, assuming the person isn't allergic. But call 911 first, every time, before doing anything else. And take a Red Cross CPR class. You never know when you might need it.

By Scrbblchick — On Jul 06, 2014

Definitely call 911 even if you just suspect a heart attack. It can mean the difference between life and death -- literally. Sometimes, a heart attack doesn't always feel like what you read about. Sometimes, it's just the worst acid reflux in the world, and pain on the left side. That's really the red flag: pain in the left arm, or on the left side of the jaw. Even with no other definite symptoms, with pain on the left side, that radiates to the jaw and through to the back, I'd still call an ambulance. You simply can't be too careful when there are any heart attack symptoms. Calling 911 is always the best solution.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.