February is National Heart Month
Heart Attack Warning Signs:
Discomfort or pain (described as pressure, squeezing, fullness) in the middle of the chest, lasting more than a few minutes, may come and go. It is sometimes sudden and intense; sometimes slow and mild at first.
Discomfort in other parts of the upper body (neck, jaw, arm, back)
Shortness of breath
Nausea, feeling of impending doom, extreme fatigue, "indigestion" that continues
Stroke Warning Signs: Act F.A.S.T.
Face: Ask them to smile. Does one side droop?
Arms: Ask them to raise both. Does one drift down?
Speech: Ask them to repeat a simple sentence. Do they slur? Have trouble repeating?
Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 immediately.
Numbness, weakness of face, arm, leg, especially on one side of the body
Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, severe headache with no known cause
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden loss of responsiveness (no response to calling/tapping on shoulders). No normal breathing (or just gasping)
What can you do?
If any of these symptoms are present, CALL 9-1-1 without delay. Do not drive yourself or the other person to the hospital. If their heart stops while you are driving you will not be able to help them. For strokes, clot-busting drugs can help, but only if given right away.
If the victim is unresponsive with no normal breathing, call 9-1-1 and begin CPR. Push hard and fast in the middle of the chest.
If the victim is awake and complaining of chest pain, have him chew an aspirin tablet (or 2 baby aspirin) after you call 9-1-1.