a special program of the National Emergency
Medicine Association (NEMA)
Your 5-Minute Guide to Heart
Attack Prevention and Survival
What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack occurs when the blood supply
to part of the heart is severely reduced or stopped. The medical term is "myocardial
infraction". The causes of heart attacks are a blocked artery from buildup of fatty
deposits in the arteries, or a blood clot in a coronary artery. The heart falters and
blood is unable to be pumped through the heart.
What is Normal?
There are 3 factors that if within normal range greatly reduce your risk
for a heart attack. Check your numbers to see if they are normal. If not, work with your
doctor to lower them.
Normal -------- Mine
----Under 140/90 ---____
----Within 20% of your ideal
Early Warning Signs of a Potential Heart Attack
Dull crushing pain like a weight on the
chest lasting 2 minutes or longer.
Pain then moves along to arms, shoulders,
back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Tingling, numbness in left, then both
Shortness of breath or difficulty
Rapid or irregular pulse.
Nausea or vomiting.
Have a yearly routine physical exam. Discuss fully and honestly with your
doctor all of your possible risk factors. Your should have your pulse, respiration and
blood pressure checked, as well as your cholesterol (HDL, LDL, triglycerides and total
cholesterol levels). You should also ask for a heart stress test. Follow your doctor's
recommendations to reduce your chances of a heart attack.
Steps To Take Today
1. Share this 5-minute guide with your loved ones.
2.Make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of heart attack.
3. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked.
4. Beware of the warning signs of heart attack and see a physician if you experience
5. Begin your heart attack prevention course today!
Are You At Risk?
Take this simple test to see if you might be at risk for a heart
1. Have either of your parents, grandparents or any one of your siblings
or cousins had a heart attack?
|2.Are you 60 or older?
|3. Do you have diabetes?
|4. Do you live alone?
|5. Do you have more than 8 alcoholic drinks a week?
|6. Do you have high blood pressure?
|7. Do you smoke?
|8. Do you skip breakfast?
|9. Do you have high cholesterol?
|10. Do you exercise less than 3 times a week?
|11. Are you more than 20% over your ideal weight?
If you answered yes to more than one
question, then your risk for a heart attack is increased. But there are many preventive
measures you can take to reduce the risk.
Your Heart Attack Prevention Course
It's never too late to start preventing a heart
The best approach is to make a few positive lifestyle changes.
If you smoke cigarettes, you have a 2 to 3
times greater risk of a heart attack. Smoking lowers the HDL (the good cholesterol)
levels, raises your blood pressure, reduces oxygen levels in the blood and increases
arterial wall tearing. All of which can lead to a heart attack.
If you have difficulty quitting on your own,
join a stop smoking group, use a patch, consult with your doctor on the best way to stop,
but do it.
A diet low in fatty foods and high in fiber can help you
to lose weight and lower your cholesterol -- two of the main factors in a heart attack.
Here are a few changes you can make in your diet today to start you on the path to healthy
- Eat fish and poultry instead of red meat.
- Drink skim or 1% fat milk.
- Use olive oil for cooking.
- Avoid fried foods.
- Trim fat off meat and poultry before cooking.
- Broil, bake, roast, steam, sauté, stir-fry or microwave your food.
- Avoid gravy and thick sauces.
- Eat only 3-4 eggs a week.
- Reduce salt intake to 2400 milligrams a day.
- Switch from white bread and white rice to whole-grain bread and brown rice.
- Eat fiber-rich cereal for breakfast.
- Eat the skin of your apple.
- Increase fruit and vegetable servings to 5 a day.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
A sedentary lifestyle greatly increases your risk for a heart
attack. The easiest exercise to begin is walking. A brisk walk for 20 to 30 minutes, four
times a week, will reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure and strengthen your heart
Chose activities you like to do, walking, swimming,
cycling, rowing, dancing. To be fit, it's important to be consistent. Set a schedule. Walk
every morning for example. Begin exercising for 20 minutes at a time, then gradually
increase the length of time up to 60 minutes.
The higher the cholesterol level in our
blood, the greater the risk of blood vessel blockage (vascular disease). A stroke, heart
attack or blocked vessels in the legs are the most common examples of vascular disease.
The liver makes cholesterol from fat -
primarily saturated fat. The fat is found in animal products. Almost no fat is found in
plant products such as fruits, vegetables and grains. The fat in coconut, palm and palm
kernel are the major sources of saturated fat in plants.
People should pay close attention to how
much saturated fat they eat. If, in spite of eating a low fat diet, you cannot lower your
high cholesterol level, you may need t take medication prescribed by a doctor.
|Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Although small amounts of alcohol are good for your
heart and circulation, drink only 6 to 8 drinks a week. This is considered moderate
drinking. People who drink in moderation are a lower risk of heart attack than heavy
Can Have A Healthy Heart
If you think you are at risk
for heart attack, consult with your doctor. A few healthy lifestyle changes and you're on
your way to a healthier heart.
The 7 Steps You Can Take When
Someone is Having a Heart Attack
|4. Check for consciousness. Shake the person and shout,
"Are you all right?' If conscious, ask about heart medications the person might be
taking. Is he carrying any medications that might help the current situation? Ask for his'
doctor's name and phone number. Call the doctor and alert him to the situation. Inform the
doctor the medical emergency help is on the way. If you are on the phone with a 911
dispatcher, request that the dispatcher call the doctor.
|1. Stay Calm
||5. If unconscious, determine if the person is breathing. Put your ear
close to his mouth and listen for breath sounds. Check for a pulse by pressing your first
two fingers firmly next tot he Adam's apple.
|2. Call 9-1-1. Tell the dispatcher what's happening and report your exact
location. Request an ambulance. Stay on the phone, if possible, and with the heart attack
victim. If you don't have 911 in your area, call the operator or the police and request
emergency medical help.
||6. If you can't find a pulse or if there is no breath coming
from the person's mouth, start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) immediately. If you
don't know CPR, ask the 911 dispatcher for step-by-step instructions on how to perform it.
|3. Lay the person on his side to prevent choking.
||7. Continue CPR until he begins breathing or until you find a
pulse, or until emergency medical help arrives.
How To Administer CRP
If the person is not breathing, you
must breathe for him. First, clear his air passage. make sure he is lying on his back with his head
Second, use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Pinch his nose shut with one hand and
keep his head tilted back with the other. Give him 4 quick full breaths.
Third, take the person's pulse by pushing with your first two fingers next to his
Adam's apple. If no pulse, you must apply external chest compression. Kneel at his side
next to his chest. Find the notch at the bottom of the breast bone. Put one hand just
above the notch and the other hand on top of the first. Raise yourself up until your arms
are straight. Keeping your arms straight, press down firmly to depress the chest - 1 to 2
inches. Relax pressure without removing your hands. Pressure and relaxation time should be
equal. Deliver chest compression's at the rate of 80 per minute. After 15 chest
compression's, deliver 2 quick breaths. Repeat until you can find a pulse, or until the
medical help arrives.
WARNING: CPR can be dangerous if
These instructions are intended
as a reference only. Become CPR certified and take a CPR training course.