Heart Attack

How do I keep a heart attack victim alive before help arrives?

A Answers (2)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    1 057 04 HeartAttack

    It's one of many people's worst fears: What do I do if I'm alone with someone who's having a heart attack? In this video, Dr. Oz gives explicit instructions on how to keep your loved one alive until help arrives.


  • AAmerican Red Cross answered
    Athletic Trainer Responds to Victim 2

    You can help until medical help arrives by doing the following:

    • Have the person stop what he or she is doing and rest comfortably. This will ease the heart’s need for oxygen. Many people experiencing a heart attack find it easier to breathe while sitting.  
    • Loosen any tight or uncomfortable clothing.
    • Closely watch the person until advanced medical personnel take over. Note any changes in the person’s appearance or behavior. 
    • Ask the person if he or she has a history of heart disease. Some people with heart disease take prescribed medication for chest pain. You can help by getting the medication for the person and assisting him or her with taking the prescribed medication.
    • Offer aspirin, if medically appropriate and local protocols allow, and if the patient can swallow and has no known contraindications. 
    • Be calm and reassuring. Comforting the person helps to reduce anxiety and eases some of the discomfort. 


    Athletic Trainer Responds to Victim 2
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What should I do if I think someone is having a heart attack?