accessibility & help

First aid for a
heart attack

Watch the video, in which Ahmet is helped during a heart attack.

Use the information below the video to remind yourself how to help someone who is having a heart attack.

1

The person may have persistent, vice-like chest pain, which may spread to their arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.

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This pain is caused by a blockage of the blood supply to the heart muscle, and the pain will not ease with rest.

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2

Call 999 immediately or get someone else to do it.

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The person must receive medical assistance as soon as possible, because a heart attack is potentially very serious and needs immediate attention.

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3

Make sure they are in a position that is comfortable for them (e.g. sit them on the floor, leaning against a wall or chair).

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This will ease the strain on the heart. Sitting them on the floor means they are less likely to hurt themselves if they collapse.

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4

Give them constant reassurance while waiting for the ambulance.

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Send us your stories

We love to hear from people who have stepped forward to help in a first aid emergency. If you have a first aid story that you'd be happy to share, please email firstaid@redcross.org.uk including your name, telephone number and some brief details about what happened. The British Red Cross will only use your information to contact you about your first aid story.

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Tim helped save Tony's life when he had a heart attack.

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Read Tony's story >