Heart Attack : Self-Care at Home

  • The first step to take when chest pain occurs is to call 911 and activate the Emergency Medical System. First responders, EMTs, and paramedics can begin treating a heart attack en-route to the hospital, alert the Emergency Department that the patient is on the way, and treat some of the complications of a heart attack should they occur.

  • Step two is to take an aspirin. Aspirin makes platelets less sticky and can minimize blood clot formation and prevent further blockage of the artery.

  • Step three is to rest. When the body does work, the heart has to pump blood to supply oxygen to the muscles and clear the waste products of metabolism. When heart function is limited because it doesn't have an adequate blood supply itself, asking it to do more work may cause more damage and risk further complications.

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