Surviving a heart attack when you are alone



If a heart attack happens and you’re alone, what should you do and what shouldn’t you do? Clin Assoc Prof Chin Chee Tang, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology at National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), answers.

can happen at any time. What to do if you’re alone? First, call for emergency medical help! If you were to suffer a heart attack while in the company of people, calling out for help is proba-bly the first instinctive thing you’d do. But what if a heart attack happens when you’re alone, can you survive it? Here’s what to do. What to do when a heart attack occurs? 1. (First thing to do) Call for emergency help

Should you experience a heart attack – re-gardless of whether you’re alone or in the pres-ence of others – the very first thing to do is to call for emergency medical help (call 995 if in Singa-pore). You need specialised treatment to be de-livered to you as quickly as possible in order to save your heart mus-cle.

“Should you be alone when a heart attack oc-curs, stop whatever you’re doing, proceed to a safe place to rest and call for medical help. For example, if you’re driving, first pull to the side of the road and call for aid,” advises Clinical Associ-ate Professor Chin Chee Tang, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), a member of the SingHealth group.

What to do while waiting for medical help to arrive 2. Take an aspirin (if you are not allergic to it) Aspirin is the most commonly taken blood thinning medication in the world, which will improve your chances of survival when taken during a heart attack.

Most cases of heart attack are caused by a blood clot forming in one of the blood vessels responsible for supplying blood to the heart. The resulting blockage deprives the heart of oxygen-rich blood, causing damage to the heart muscle, which progressively dies.

Taking an aspirin during a heart attack may help as it prevents the clot from getting bigger, giv-ing the body a chance to break down the blood clot. If you have aspirin at home, and you know that you are not allergic to it, then you could consider taking it while waiting for the emergency medical services to arrive. 3. Lie down and stay calm Don’t panic! Stay calm, lie down and rest while waiting for help.