Thousands die each year from heart attacks because they do not receive medical treatment quickly. Know the warning signs. Know what to do when a heart attack is suspected. This is more urgent when the victim has a history of high blood pressure, angina or heart disease.

A heart attack is a very serious event that requires immediate medical attention. If you, or someone on board suffers such an event, it is important to know the correct warning signs and what to do to get the best heart attack treatment available as quickly as possible.

Common symptoms:

  • chest discomfort (heaviness, pain, burning sensation, chest pressure)
  • discomfort in other part of the upper body (pain radiating down the arm, neck, jaw)
  • shortness of breath
  • a feeling of indigestion unrelated to recent food intake.
  • Sweating – moist, pale skin
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea

What to do:

  1. Call for help immediately (VHF 16 MAYDAY)
  2. Stop all activity
  3. sit or lie down in a position that is most comfortable
  4. If the person is on nitroglycerin, take the normal dosage. Repeat up to 2 more times at 3 minute intervals.
  5. If the person does not have nitroglycerin and IS NOT allergic to ASA (acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as Aspirin®,) take 1 adult dose (325 mg).
  6. If the person has collapsed, immediately begin to administer CPR until help arrives. (If you have not been trained in CPR, take it with a First Aid course - you may save a life!)


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