Man in a turquoise t-shirt clutches his chest in pain

What to Do if Alone and Having a Heart Attack

Have you ever wondered what you’d do if you were alone at home and suspected you were having a heart attack?

Deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) jumped globally from 12.1 million in 1990 to 20.5 million in 2021, according to a May 2023 report from the World Heart Federation. In 2021, CVD was the leading cause of death worldwide.

What To Do When a Heart Attack Occurs

When a heart attack occurs, it’s essential to act fast and get medical attention—every minute counts. You may not have time to wait for an ambulance to arrive before you start feeling the effects of the attack. Can you survive a heart attack alone? Yes, but it depends on your actions immediately following the onset of symptoms. Your chances of surviving are pretty dismal without immediate medical help.

Following the tips in this one-minute article will improve your survival odds significantly.

Heart Attack When Alone: 5 Smart Things Experts Advise You Do Immediately for the Best Chance of Survival

#heartattack  #firstaid

Register for a Red Cross first aid & CPR class and learn to save a life.


Nitroglycerin or Aspirin – which is best for a heart attack victim?

When a person is experiencing a heart attack, should you give them Aspirin or Nitroglycerin?

If you suspect that a person is having a heat attack, the most important thing to do is to call 9-1-1 immediately. Don’t do anything before calling 9-1-1.

Heart attacks are usually caused by atherosclerosis (the build up of plaque on the artery walls), and complicated by thrombosis (blood clots) in the heart vessels. Anti thrombotic treatment should happen as soon as possible after a heart attack. Aspirin (ASA) helps slow down the formation of clots.

It is recommended that a person experiencing a heart attack chew 160 to 325 mg of ASA – either two low-dose (81mg) tablets or one regular strength (325 mg) tablet.

Taking ASA is not advised during a stroke, because not all strokes are caused by blood clots. Most strokes are caused by clots, but some are caused by ruptured blood vessels. Taking ASA could potentially make these bleeding strokes more severe.

Nitroglycerin “Nitro” is a symptom relief medication and does not target the underlying cause of the heart attack. First Aiders should focus on helping the person take ASA over nitroglycerin, as long as there is no contraindication. Remember to ask “Are you allergic to aspirin?”

For more information on giving aspirin during a heart attack or stroke please follow this link: