What is the first aid treatment for heart attacks?

 Dr. Kathleen Handal, MD
Emergency Medicine
The following are the first aid treatment guidelines for heart attacks:
  • Call for medical help. Time lost is heart muscle lost.
  • If victim is unresponsive and not breathing: Use automated external defibrillator (AED), if immediately available. If AED is unavailable, call for medical help before starting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • If responsive: Loosen clothing and assist with victim's medication. Comfort and reassure victim while keeping warm. If not contraindicated (ex: stroke, recent bleeding, allergy) encourage the victim to chew 2 'baby' aspirins (low dose) or 1 adult aspirin, not enteric coated.
  • Monitor responsiveness and breathing until help arrives.
  • Do not attempt to relieve pain by walking or stretching.
  • Do not force victim into uncomfortable position.
  • Do not give anything by mouth except victim's prescription medication, such as nitroglycerin or aspirin.
  • Do not leave victim alone.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.