Heart Attack/Angina

Recognise, act and treat immediately  

Did you know? 

It is estimated that someone has a heart attack in the UK every two minutes. That's about 275,000 people a year, out of which 120,000 could potentially be fatal.  

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What is a heart attack?

 

Also known as a Myocardial Infarction, a Heart Attack is caused by a blockage (clot) in the coronary arteries (main arteries that transport blood into and out of the heart). As a result of the blockage, part of the heart muscle is deprived of blood and oxygen. The muscle begins to die and the heart cannot function properly. Ultimately the heart will stop beating resulting in a death of the casualty. As with all emergencies time is critical as the heart attack is a life threatening condition.  

Recognition  

- Vice like, crushing pain which may radiate down the arm(s) or up to the jaw.  

- Rapid breathing 

- Shortness of breath

- Rapid or irregular pulse

 

- Fear and anxiety 

 

- Impending sense of doom

 

- Pale, cold and clammy skin, 'ashen' in colour, blueness around the lips

 

- Collapse without warning  

Treatment

 

- Unlike an Angina the pain will not ease with rest

- Sit the casualty on the floor against a well and bend at the knees with support

 

- Dial 999/112 and call for an ambulance, advising a suspected heart attack

 

- Assist the casualty to take 300mg of aspirin (ensure the casualty is not allergic), and advise to chew slowly 

 

- Allow the casualty to take their own angina medication, assist them to do so if necessary

 

- Ensure the casualty rests and remains calm

 

- Locate an AED and be prepared to resuscitate in the event the condition becomes worse  

What is an Angina?

Angina pectoris is the narrowing of the coronary arteries, is a type of chest pain a casualty experiences when the arteries carrying blood to their heart muscle are narrowed.  This can restrict the blood supply and cause pain called an angina attack.

An angina attack is different from a heart attack, where the blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked, and are usually caused by physical exertion, stress or excitement. 

Angina is not life-threatening on its own, although, someone who suffers from it is at far greater risk of having life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.

If the casualty rests and take angina medication, the pain should only last a few minutes. 

Recognition 

- Vice like, crushing chest pain which may radiate down the arm(s) or up the jaw

 

- Rapid breathing

 

- Shortness of breath

 

- Fear and anxiety

 

- Pale, cold, and clammy skin

 

Treatment  

- Pain will ease with rest

Sit the casualty on the floor against a well and bend at the knees with support

- Allow the casualty to take their own medication, assist them to do so if necessary

- If the pain does not ease with rest, treat as a heart attack 

- Dial 999/112 ad ask for an ambulance 

- Be prepared to resuscitate 

First aid advice
Select from a range of topics below

Unconscious casualty

 

Primary survey

Secondary survey

Recovery position

Adult CPR

Child & Infant CPR

Use of a Defibrillator 

Breathing problems

 

Choking Adult

Choking Child & Infant

Inhalation of toxic fumes

 

Wounds & Bleeds

Control bleeding

Embedded objects

Nose bleed

Eye injuries

Internal bleeding

Shock

Bones, muscles & joint injuries

 

Head injuries

Spinal injuries

Chest injuries

Broken bones

Dislocations

Sprains & strains

Burns & scalds

 

Types & treatment for burns

Poisoning

 

Types & treatment for poisons

Medical emergencies

 

Anaphylaxis

Angina

Heart attack

Asthma

Croup

Meningitis

Sickle cell anaemia

Seizures

Fainting

Febrile convulsions

Diabetes

Stroke

 

Extreme Heat & Cold

 

Heat exhaustion

Heat stroke

Hypothermia

Bites & stings

 

Bites

Stings

Practice makes perfect

It goes without saying that hands-on first aid training or utilising other available resources such as on-line training are the optimal way to gain valuable first aid practical skills and a thorough understanding. 

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