CPR First Aid

The Top Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms First Aid Tips to Save a Life

The Top Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms: First Aid Tips to Save a Life

Heart attacks are a leading cause of death in Modbury and the rest of the world. It is important to be able to identify the heart attack signs and symptoms. Allowing you to administer first aid treatment immediately. This blog post will teach you what to look for so you can take action immediately and save a life.

Heart Attack Signs

heart attack signsHeart attack signs are something you can watch out for yourself or someone else. These may start slowly and once noticed, you can immediately call for help or provide first aid care. Following are the heart attack signs according to the Australian Heart Foundation:

  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness or feeling faint
  • Nausea, indigestion, or vomiting 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Sweating

You may experience these heart attack signs together, just one of them, or feel no heart attack sign at all. These may be recurring heart attack signs that may last for at least 10 minutes and may get worse every time.

Signs of a heart attack in women

Unfortunately, women are more likely to experience the above heart attack signs. Biologically, women have smaller hearts and arteries than men. This increases the chance of coronary artery disease developing differently and diffusely. Aside from those listed above, the following are the signs of a heart attack in women:

  • Jaw, shoulder, or back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing

Women-specific heart attack risk factors

The risk of heart attack for women may also be due to the following:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Premature menopause
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Cancer treatment
  • Depression

Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart attack symptoms may be similar to those of angina, a type of chest pain. According to Heart Research Australia, the additional heart attack symptoms are:

  • Chest tightness that becomes more severe and does not go away
  • Jaw and neck pain
  • Choking sensation
  • Arm, shoulder, chest, and/or back pain
  • Similar sensations to heartburn
  • Sudden difficulty in breathing
  • Flu-like symptoms

Heart Attack First Aid Tips

We must know what heart attack signs and symptoms to watch out for. This knowledge can ultimately help us prevent from experiencing the worst or be able to save a life.

After knowing the heart attack signs and symptoms, the following are the first aid response that may be done:

  1. Follow DRSABCD.
  2. Have the person sit or lie in a comfortable position.
  3. Ask the person to explain their symptoms.
  4. If symptoms are severe, continue to develop, or last for more than 10 minutes an ambulance. Follow the advice of the operator until medical assistance arrives.
  5. Loosen any restricting clothing.
  6. Check that the person does not have an aspirin allergy and is allowed to take aspirin. If it is safe for them to take, provide the casualty with one aspirin tablet (300mg).
  7. Reassure the person until the ambulance arrives.
  8. Monitor and record symptom development.

If the person is unconscious or is falling into unconsciousness:

  1. Place the person into the recovery position.
  2. Follow DRSABCD.
  3. Call an ambulance for immediate medical assistance.

When to do CPR?

CPR is part of the DRSABCD which is the first step in the method above. As long as the person experiencing heart attack signs and symptoms is alert and breathing, there is no need to perform CPR. But if the person’s heart stops beating, that is when CPR should be performed.

What is CPR?

CPR or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is the emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can ultimately increase the chance of survival after cardiac arrest.

Who should do CPR?

Ideally, CPR should be performed by a person who is trained and certified to do it. He/She must have possessed the HLTAID009 certificate.

HLTAID009 (Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Certificate

The corresponding first aid course for heart attack is HLTAID009 (Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). The main purpose of this course is to let you know how to properly perform the CPR steps.

If you are not certified, the above heart attack first aid tips may seem undoable. There are even terms you may not be familiar with such as emergency first aid, DRSABCD, recovery position, and CPR steps.

What is the HLTAID009 CPR course?

HLTAID009 CPR course is a Unit of Competency that provides the skills and knowledge required to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in line with the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) Guidelines. This CPR update course is the most recent version of what is often referred to as the CPR Update or CPR Refresher. This Unit replaces the previous course codes HLTCPR201A, HLTCPR201B, HLTCPR211A, and most recently HLTAID001.

Heart Attack: What is it?

Now, you know the heart attack signs and symptoms, and the necessary first aid tips. It would also be informative if we get into the details of this disease and how to possibly prevent it.

In medical terms, a ‘heart attack’ is called a ‘myocardial infarction’. It occurs when a part of the heart muscle does not get enough blood. This happens when blood flow from an artery is reduced or blocked.

What is an artery?

An artery is a blood vessel that delivers oxygen from the heart to the tissues of your body. It is a red muscular and elastic tube that can transport blood under high pressure when the heart pumps.

How can an artery be blocked?

An artery can be blocked by cholesterol deposits (plaques). These are skin growths that are an effect of cholesterol buildup. Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood and is also made by your liver. You can also get it from certain food that you eat.

Understanding Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat that moves throughout your body. It is essential for all human beings, as it builds the structure of cell membranes. It makes hormones, improves your metabolism, and is essential in producing Vitamin D.

Now, you are probably wondering, if they are important, why do they cause heart attacks? Like the other chemical compounds, cholesterol should be consumed moderately from good sources which are:

  • Oatmeal
  • Beans and legumes
  • Olive Oil
  • Fatty fish
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts

While some sources of the bad cholesterol are:

  • Processed meat
  • Fried food
  • Commercially baked products

Understanding Cholesterol Levels

The 2 types of cholesterol levels are LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. These are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The LDL cholesterol is the main source of cholesterol buildup that will eventually block the arteries. While HDL cholesterol removes cholesterol from the arteries. According to Medline, below are the healthy levels of cholesterol:

Anyone aged 19 and younger:

  • LDL Less than 100mg/dL
  • HDL More than 45mg/dL

Men aged 20 or older:

  • LDL Less than 100mg/dL
  • HDL 40 mg/dL or higher

Women aged 20 or older:

  • LDL Less than 100mg/dL
  • HDL 50 mg/dL or higher

What happens when an artery is blocked?

Once an artery is blocked, mild to serious health problems are likely to occur. Some of these are:

  • Chest pain
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

How do you avoid your arteries from getting blocked?

Blocked arteries that may eventually end up in a heart attack are avoidable. You can change your lifestyle by maintaining a low-saturated-fat diet and regular exercising. There are also surgical procedures and medications.


Heart attack signs and symptoms may be factors to watch out for. So you know when to apply the appropriate first aid treatment. To properly perform it, enrolling and getting certified with the HLTAID009 (Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is essential. Located in Modbury and looking for an accredited HLTAID009 first aid course provider in the area? You may want to check our offered CPR course.


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