Proper first aid for heart attack patients – VnExpress

My father has coronary artery stenosis, placed 2 stents 3 years ago, so is there a risk of acute myocardial infarction? Need first aid for acute myocardial infarction?

Now three adhere to a healthy lifestyle, eat a heart-healthy menu, walk 60 minutes a day, quit smoking. In addition, the three also screened their heart health every 6 months. (Thanh Hien, Hanoi).


Acute myocardial infarction occurs when there is a blood clot that partially or completely blocks the coronary artery – the artery that supplies blood and nourishes heart muscle cells. When a coronary artery is blocked, it will prevent blood flow to the heart muscle, thereby destroying or killing a corresponding part of the heart muscle.

Proper first aid for myocardial infarction will help increase the chances of survival and reduce the risk of complications for the patient. Photo: Shutterstock

Regarding the risk factors for acute myocardial infarction, they can be divided into two groups: the group of non-modifiable risk factors and the group of modifiable risk factors.

Unmodifiable risk factors include age (with increasing age the risk increases, specifically from age 70 onwards, up to 15% of men and 9% of women have symptomatic coronary artery disease. and increased to 20% by the age of 80); gender (coronary artery disease – the cause of myocardial infarction – is more common and has an earlier onset in men); Family history in patients with atherosclerosis.

Modifiable risk factors include: psychological stress, smoking, overweight – obesity, diet high in bad cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol abuse, certain chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia…

Thus, with the adherence to a healthy lifestyle, the three of you have eliminated the risk factors for the disease. In addition, his regular cardiovascular health screening will help reduce the risk of coronary re-stenosis and prevent acute myocardial infarction.

However, acute myocardial infarction is a serious, emergency event of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of cardiovascular death, leaving serious complications later. The disease often comes on suddenly, is unpredictable and can be life-threatening. Therefore, mastering the knowledge of first aid for myocardial infarction is important to help patients overcome the crisis in time. Here is the correct first aid for an acute myocardial infarction.

For patients:

Stop all activities immediately: Slowly sit or lie down in a semi-sitting position, half lying on the nearest place with a backrest or headrest to relax. Exercising at this time will cause more serious damage to the heart muscle. You need to remove the jacket, tie or towel you are wearing to reduce the feeling of shortness of breath and fatigue.

Stay calm: When an acute heart attack occurs, you often feel scared and lose your temper. This makes the situation even worse. Calmness will help you handle the situation effectively.

Immediately contact the emergency transport station (115): If there are no conditions, it is necessary to have a family member to transport the patient. It is not recommended that patients automatically drive to the hospital.

Take medicine to relieve angina: If prescribed by your doctor and carry the medicine with you, you should take it immediately. But if the doctor did not prescribe these two drugs for you before, you should not take them on your own.

If you are a relative or family member of the patient:

In case the patient is awake, call 911 immediately; put the patient in a half-lying, half-sitting position, leaning back against a hard object; take off coats, loosen clothes, ties, scarves, buttons, belts… for comfort; Help the patient relax their shoulders and arms, close their eyes, breathe gently through the nose, do not try to take a deep breath and hold their breath to limit muscle tension and heart fatigue. You try to help the patient maintain slow, even breathing until the ambulance arrives; Do not rub oil on the patient’s chest.

If the patient has medicine on hand, give it to suck or spray under the tongue if chest pain. If after 5 minutes the patient has not relieved the chest pain, another dose can be given. Then, quickly bring the patient to the hospital right away, absolutely do not delay because delay will lose the “golden” time to save the heart muscle (within the first hour after the myocardial infarction).

Patients with myocardial infarction need to be first aided and taken to the emergency room promptly.

Patients with myocardial infarction need to be first aided and taken to the emergency room promptly.

In case the patient is unconscious, call 911 immediately and take the patient to the nearest hospital. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, you can perform first aid by applying chest compressions (CPR). Proceed as follows:

Place the patient supine on a firm surface; check the airway for foreign bodies or vomit in the nose and mouth, if so, remove them; Tilt your neck to allow the airway to clear. If the patient vomits, tilt the head to one side to avoid aspiration into the lungs; kneel on the patient’s left side, place both hands on top of each other and place them in front of the chest between the sternum (the space between the breasts, calculated from the concave end of the sternum, up to 10cm); Use enough force of the arms, press down to about 2/3 of the depth of the ribcage (press down to about 3-5cm) and then loosen the hands. You repeat this movement continuously 100 times / minute (about compressions per second) to increase cardiac contractility, helping the heart work again until the ambulance arrives.

If the patient is not breathing, give rescue breaths or squeeze the balloon twice in a row, then check the pulse. If there is a pulse, continue to breathe or squeeze the balloon, in case there is no pulse, perform a cycle of chest compressions and rescue breaths according to the ratio of 30/2.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be performed as soon as possible because for every minute delay, the patient loses 10% of the chance of survival. If after 10 minutes of cardiac arrest, the patient has not received emergency care, the chance of survival is low.

MSc.BS Nguyen Tuan Long
Department of Cardiology, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi


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