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If I have symptoms of a heart attack, should my family give CPR?

Deb Cordes
Deb Cordes on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

There is a difference between having a heart attack and having a cardiac arrest. Someone having a heart attack who is alert, has a pulse and is breathing on their own does not need CPR. They do need medical treatment and should call 911 immediately. If someone is not responding, does not have a pulse and is not breathing this is called a cardiac arrest. A person in this situation would need 911 called, CPR begun and would need to be defibrillated as quickly as possible.

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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.