Heart attack warning: How to save a life – what to do if you haven’t been CPR trained

HEART attacks require immediate treatment, but what should you do if you haven’t been trained for CPR? If you see someone with symptoms of a cardiac arrest, this is what you should do after calling for an ambulance. It could save a life.

  • Heart attacks can lead to a cardiac arrest – where the heart stops pumping blood around the body
  • Cardiac arrest may require CPR
  • Hands-only CPR includes compressions to the beat of Stayin’ Alive
  • Always phone an ambulance before beginning CPR

Heart attacks are a medical emergency that require immediate treatment, according to the NHS.

The condition, which is known as a myocardial infarction, is caused by a sudden blockage in the heart’s blood supply.

A heart attack could lead to a cardiac arrest in some cases. This is where the heart beats abnormally fast, and then stops beating altogether.


If you see someone collapse in front of you, the first thing you should do is check them over, and see if they’re responsive.

If they’re not breathing, or are unresponsive, then their heart has stopped working and they are having a cardiac arrest, said the British Heart Foundation.

Now, you should call 999 and ask for an ambulance, the charity said.

Once the paramedics are on their way, you should perform Hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

“Lock your fingers together, knuckles up,” said the British Heart Foundation.

“Then push down, right on the sovereign [middle of the chest]. Push down five or six centimetres.

“That’s about two inches. Push hard and fast about two times a second, like to the beat of Stayin’ Alive.

“Don’t worry about hurting someone. A cracked rib can be mended – just concentrate on saving a life.”

If you’re CPR-trained, you should give rescue breaths, too.

After every 30 chest compressions, give two rescue breaths to the patient.

You should keep up your Hands-only CPR until the ambulance arrives, or if the patient shows signs of regaining consciousness.

If you’re feeling tired, and there’s somebody around to help, ask them to take over while you recover.

Every year, there are around 200,000 hospital visits due to heart attacks in the UK.

Almost a million people have survived a heart attack in the UK.

Heart attack symptoms can include severe chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing.

If you suspect you, or someone else, is having a heart attack, you should dial 999 straight away and ask for an ambulance.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure whether you’re having a heart attack – paramedics would rather be called out to a mistake than be too late, said the NHS.

This article first appeared on https://www.express.co.uk/