The first thing we need to do as Robert mentioned is call 911.
When you call 9-1-1 the dispatcher needs some information from you and the calmer you stay, the better!
They need your address and this is the most critical piece of information because if they can’t get that from you, they can’t get help to you.
They will also ask for your return phone number. They need this to be able to call you back and get more information or to help the crews on their way locate you. It is also so that if you need help they can coach you through what you’re doing.
They will also try to get as much information about the patient as they can. Age, sex, physical condition, level of discomfort, pain and surroundings are all critical information for the arriving crew to have before they get there, so they know what they are getting into.
After that call is made, getting the patient into a position that provides them with the most comfort is the best thing we can do for them. Usually, this is going to be in a seated position leaning forward, but just go with whatever position they say is most comfortable.
Now I know most clinics aren’t going to have this on hand, but getting them some aspirin is going to help things out. And it has to be Aspirin, not Tylenol or Ibuprofen…Aspirin.
It works as a blood thinner so it can help relieve tension on the heart as well as help diminish clots.
All too often this goes unrecognized or people don’t want to admit it, so they don’t ask for any help. Unfortunately, this could be fatal as it leads to cardiac arrest and the need for CPR.
The more you can do to recognize and be aware of what’s going on with your patients, the more you’ll be able to help and prevent things from getting to that point. Being able to recognize and differentiate the pain a person is experiencing is key to understanding what’s going on with them. Also knowing that the signs and symptoms can be different between men and women can go a long way to recognizing that there is an emergency happening. And remember, this is the only time it’s okay to ask about erectile dysfunction drugs!
“Heart disease is no laughing matter. After my father suffered a massive heart attack, I realized just how serious heart disease can be” – Cheryl Hines