Heart disease is now one of the leading killers of both men and women in the United States. With more than 700,000 of us suffering from heart attacks each year, there is a good chance that you know someone who has had or will have a heart attack. So it’s wise to arm yourself with as much information as you can to ensure you know what to do if a heart attack happens to you or someone you love.
To begin, it’s important to know that women have different physical signs that indicate they may be having a heart attack that what you typically see depicted in the media. Most male heart attack patients complain of pain similar to a clenched fist in the chest, left arm, and jaw. Another common symptom of heart attacks is the feeling of dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness. If you feel any of the above symptoms you may be experiencing or be on the verge of some kind of heart-related incident.

Once you’ve determined that you are indeed in distress there are a few important first aid tips you should be prepared to follow.

1. Call 911
First and foremost, immediately call 911 to get yourself or the patient into medical care as soon as possible. Reacting quickly in this situation can mean the difference between life and death.

2. Take An Aspirin
When the symptoms begin to creep up, grab an aspirin, quickly chew and swallow it. Taking an aspirin will not prevent or end your heart attack, but it may help prevent extensive damage. Aspirin inhibits platelets in your blood from making your artery blockage larger and more dangerous.

3. Perform CPR
If you witness someone having a heart attack and that person is now unconscious, you may need to start chest compressions. If you’re unsure of what to do, ask the 911 dispatcher to direct you.

4. Use An Available Defibrillator (AED)
Many public places like theme parks, government buildings, and shopping malls now stock automated external defibrillators. So if you find yourself in a situation with an unconscious person suffering from a heart-related incident, find this device and follow the instructions included.

Heart attacks are often sudden and scary, and they can happen to people who seem perfectly healthy from the outside. If you fear that you may fall victim to heart disease for any reason including diet, stress, or genetics, we recommend that you find a cardiologist and get yourself into care. If you’re in the Central Florida area, give us a call and together we can come up with a plan to improve your heart health.