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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > First Aid for Heart Attack: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Heart Attack

First Aid for Heart Attack

Alternate Names : Myocardial Infarction, MI, Cardiopulmonary Arrest

First Aid for Heart Attack | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

Treatments for a heart attack involve some first aid measures.

  • Have the person keep calm, sit down, and rest.
  • Do not move the person or get them to exert themselves in any way. Exertion will only increase the heart rate, which will increase the amount of oxygen that the heart needs to work.
  • Determine if the person is taking any heart medications. If the person has medication, such as nitroglycerin tablets, assist them in taking the medication. If the chest pain does not lessen within 3 minutes of taking the nitroglycerin, someone should call for emergency medical assistance.
  • Call for emergency medical help and then begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the person is unconscious or unresponsive.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    The medications can sometimes cause headaches and a lowering of blood pressure. If CPR is performed, there can be multiple injuries to the lungs, chest wall, and the structures of the chest cavity during chest compressions. However, the chest compressions may be the only way to save the person's life. For this reason, the lifesaving benefits from CPR outweigh the risk of injury.

    What happens after treatment for the injury?

    After first aid has been given and medical help has arrived, the medical team will take over. The person suffering a heart attack will be transferred to the nearest medical facility for further treatment. The person may undergo a procedure called angioplasty (an-gee-oh-plah-stee), in which a catheter is placed into a large artery and then inserted into the heart to open up the artery. Surgery and grafts designed to bypass the clogged artery area may also be required.

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    First Aid for Heart Attack: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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