How To Respond To A Cardiac Emergency

How To Respond To A Cardiac Emergency

Cardiac emergencies are an incredibly common occurrence. Each year, 475,000 Americans die from a cardiac arrest and another 805,000 have a heart attack. This threat is so prevalent that heart disease-related complications are one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

With that in mind, it’s important that each of us learn to recognize the signs of a heart attack or cardiac arrest, as well as how to respond effectively. Knowing how to respond, and doing so quickly can save the life of someone you know and love or even a complete stranger.


Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest


In an emergency situation, it’s important to quickly determine what is happening in order to respond appropriately. For that reason, you should be familiar with the major signs of both cardiac arrest and heart attacks since the protocols for how to respond vary.


When someone is in cardiac arrest, the major symptoms are:

  • Loss of consciousness (fainting)
  • No heartbeat or faint pulse can be felt
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain


By contrast, when someone is having a heart attack, the major symptoms are:

  • Chest pain, tightness, or discomfort
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Neck, jaw, or back pain
  • Discomfort in the shoulder or arms
  • Shortness of breath


You’ll notice that some symptoms, such as shortness of breath, occur in both scenarios. But, learning the major differences between the two will help you to respond in a way that could save lives.


Responding to Cardiac Emergencies


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