If you have ever been to first-aid classes or learnt how to help people in medical emergencies, then you probably know that how administrating CPR can save a patient’s life. With millions of people facing heart attacks every year world over, CPR can be a savior, helping in reviving a heart attack victim till medical assistance arrives. But CPR can only be performed by one person to another. What if you or someone you know has a heart attack when he is alone? How would you or such a person revive himself? God forbid, but if such a situation arises, then you must buckle yourself up and use this ‘do it yourself’ procedure to revive yourself from a heart attack by doing a set of activities which can save your life during such life crises. Since heart attack can virtually occur to anyone, even patients with no heart ailment history, therefore, you must practice these steps time and again to ensure that your conscious and breathing gets stable if you have heart attack. Some of these steps require help from a medical professional. So, make sure that you are prepared for the situation before hand.
Calm yourself and loose tight clothing
If you feel that you are having a heart attack, then calm yourself down and sit at a comfortable place. Do not lie down. Loose any tight clothing like a tie or a tight outfit. If you are a heart patient and you have been taking any chest medication for heart condition, then make sure that you carry it in your wallet or pocket all the time, so that if you experience any symptoms, you can take it immediately. So, as soon as you get the symptoms, take your chest pain medication such as nitroglycerin. Notice if the pain goes away with rest or medicine. If the pain doesn’t go away within 3-5 minutes, then you must call the local emergency number. If the pain increases, then start coughing.
The self CPR procedure
If you are alone and you suddenly experience severe chest pain that starts moving towards your arms or jaws, then you must administer self CPR in such a situation. If you realize that your heart is beating improperly and you feel like you are going to lose your consciousness, then you should first stop panicking. Panicking will not just induce improper heart beat, but it will also make it difficult for you to deal with the situation. Now, start coughing vigorously and heavily. Coughing will ensure that you are taking oxygen with each breath which can help in regularizing or maintaining heart beat essential for keeping you conscious. Also, coughing will enable you to keep yourself conscious and avoid any fainting spells which can be dangerous during a heart attack.
How should you cough
The coughing needs to be continuous, but at the same time it needs to be prolonged so that the blood flows to your heart at least at a minimum rate. Take a deep breath before you start each cough, make sure that the cough is deep. Imagine you are having cold and you have to cough deeply so that the sputum inside your chest comes out. After one attempt, repeat again. Keep on repeating after every two seconds. Cough for all the while you can without stop for breaks. This activity shall be performed till help arrives. If you feel strong enough, then call your country’s emergency number so that the help arrives as fast as possible. Again keep coughing and don’t panic.
Increase blood flow
Your coughing must be alternated with deep breaths. Deep breathing will ensure that oxygen gets into your lungs so that your body has sufficient amount of oxygen to keep it working. Coughing on the other hand will ensure that your heart squeezes itself and pumps the blood. This will help the heart to circulate blood in different extremities of your body and nervous system. This way, you will not lose consciousness and you would be able to help yourself with first aid till a doctor or medical professional starts treating you for the condition. In certain situations, this procedure may even help the heart regularize its beating which will diminish the chances of a cardiac arrest and you won’t have risks or complications associated with heart attack. Remember, this procedure shall be performed only if you feel that you are going to lose your consciousness. Also, keep in mind that you don’t move around, call an ambulance through the cell phone and keep taking deep breaths.
For more than a decade, medical professionals and heart specialists have recommended that a person should take aspirin if he feels having symptoms of a heart attack. This is because aspirin can prevent the blood clot from getting bigger by stopping the blood platelets from sticking together. This will ensure that the situation doesn’t gets too complication. So, whether you are or you are not a heart patient, you must always keep an aspirin in your pocket. Take a 325 mg aspirin as soon as you feel the onset of the symptoms. Remember to chew the tablet rather than swallowing. This is because chewing can help in faster dispersion of the tablet, whereas swallowed pill will take time to break down because of the enteric coating.
If you feel that you are having a heart attack while you are driving, then you must stop the car midway. If you suddenly feel lose of consciousness, then perform self CPR. If you feel a little conscious, then open the door of your car and flag someone to help you on the road. Minimize your activity and don’t even think about driving yourself to the hospital. Also remember that cough CPR shall only be done when you feel that you are about to lose consciousness, an indication of cardiac arrest. If you are not feeling unconscious, then you must rather sit quietly and call someone for help or ask a fellow driver to help you or give you CPR. A fellow driver can help in reviving you if you lose your conscious and can help you get to the nearest hospital.
If you are a heart patient or have respiratory problems, then you can take oxygen from an oxygen tank. Generally, patients with heart ailments are recommended to keep an oxygen tank at home, so that they can use it if they feel that they are having a heart attack. So, if you experience heart attack symptoms, then relax, slowly walk and get your oxygen tank, sit and take oxygen. If you are walking towards your oxygen and suddenly feel dizzy or lightheaded, then you must stop walking, sit down and take deep breaths. Remember to call the emergency number as soon as you start getting any symptoms, don’t wait for the symptoms to go away with cough CPR or oxygen.
Know when you need help
It is true that you can help yourself during a heart attack, but most of the people suffering from a heart attack tend to wait for 3 hours on an average before seeking help for the symptoms. Generally, these people don’t have a heart condition and therefore, they fail to recognize the symptoms. Remember, you can reduce the amount of heart damage by understanding the symptoms of a heart attack. This will ensure that you get medical assistance at the right time. Some of the symptoms include changes in mental status, feeling pressure or fullness, chest pain, especially in the center, transfer of pain to the shoulder, arms, back and stomach, the pain comes and goes, night sweat, coldness, light-headedness, numbness or tingling in arms, shortness of breath. Women tend to have unusual symptoms including nausea or fatigue. If you ever experience such symptoms, then you must immediately call for an ambulance.
Call emergency number
It is true that cough CPR can save lives, but only if it is practiced under the guidance of a medical professional. So, individuals who have heart ailments or those who have suffered from a heart attack before, must practice this procedure with their medical professional, so that the doctor could rectify any mistakes and help you deal with a heart attack when you are alone. The method cannot be used by a layman or someone who has suddenly experienced a heart attack, because the procedure works well for people who have the risk of having a cardiac arrest and may backfire for a layman. In such situations, an individual with no history of heart illness, must not waste his energy on performing cough CPR, but instead, he should call the local emergency number, sit and calm himself down. Take an aspirin. In case, he feels that he will lose consciousness, he should thump lightly on the center of the chest and must take deep breaths. Remember, knowledge is the best way of dealing with a heart attack.