A heart attack is vital, and it occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked due to a clogged artery. The blockage is caused due to a blood clot. If the blockage often is not removed, the part of the heart that receives blood from that artery starts dying.
When a heart attack comes quickly and intensely, then it resembles cardiac arrest. Heart attacks are often mild as compared with cardiac arrest. However, the symptoms of heart attack can be spread out over hours, days, or even weeks. During a heart attack, the heart continues to beat which does not happen when someone goes through a cardiac arrest. Also, the symptoms of a heart attack vary between men and women. If a person has coronary heart disease, then the chances of getting a heart attack increase manifolds. However, this isn't the case always. Heart attacks also occur due to coronary artery spasms. These spasms even occur in people who don't have coronary heart disease. Some other reasons for heart attacks include overuse of drugs such as cocaine, exposure to extreme cold, and intense pain or emotional stress.
In case you see a person having a heart attack, here's how you can help him/her by performing CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) -
CPR is a life-saving emergency process which is performed on people whose heart has stopped. The primary reason to provide CPR is to restore the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain of a victim who has suffered sudden cardiac arrest. It is the combination of both chest compressions and artificial respiration. Chest compressions support the heart whereas artificial respiration supports the lungs to function again.
According to the recommended guidelines, CPR should start with 30 chest compression and then followed by two rescue breaths, repeated twice. But, before you begin performing CPR, call for help! Call an ambulance or a nearby hospital so that the victim can be treated at the earliest. Also, tilt the patient's head back and look if he/she is breathing. If the victim doesn't start breathing within 10 seconds, begin CPR.
How to carry out a chest compression-
Position your hand on the center of the person's chest. Put your other hand on the top of your first hand and interlock your fingers.
Push hard, push fast! Use your body weight to press straight down by at least 2 inches deep on the victim's chest.
Keep your hands on their chest and let the compression release by allowing the chest to return to its original position.
Keep performing these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times a minute until the help arrives or you become exhausted.
CPR with rescue breaths
Perform the normal compression process at a steady rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute. Give two rescue breaths after every 30 chest compressions.
Gently tilt the victim's head back and lift the chin up. Pinch the person's nose shut. Seal your mouth over their mouth, and blow firmly and steadily into their mouth for about 1 second. Ensure that their chest rises. Deliver two rescue breaths, then continue with the cycle of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until the patient start to recover or emergency help arrives.
If you have been trained in CPR and feel confident using your skills, then only you should give chest compressions with rescue breaths. In case you're not entirely confident about the process, attempt hands-only CPR instead.
To keep yourself prepared for such medical emergencies, you should secure your health with a comprehensive health insurance policy. However, most health insurance policies do not cover a heart attack or a cardiac arrest. Hence, it is advised to get a critical illness insurance policy to get yourself covered against the wrath of these life-threatening diseases.