August 27, 2016
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Heart Attack and Atherosclerosis Prevention (cont.)

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What can I do to prevent a heart attack when home alone?

Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle with a nutritious low-fat diet and exercise is the best way to prevent heart disease and heart attack. However, if you have a heart attack and are home alone when it occurs here are some tips help improve your outcome.

  • Know the symptoms of a heart attack. Keep your cell phone available at all times. If you suspect you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Minutes count! Do this FIRST, before anything else.
  • If the 911 operator suggests it, take an aspirin if you are not allergic. Be prepared – talk to your doctor and find out if you should be on aspirin therapy to prevent a heart attack occurs.
  • The Internet has spread the idea of "cough CPR," however, the American Heart Association does not endorse this as a way to prevent heart attacks. If you are having a sudden abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) and are conscious you may be able to cough forcefully enough to maintain enough blood flow to the brain to stay conscious a few seconds more until the arrhythmia breaks. Coughing probably won't hurt, but always call 911 first.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/29/2016


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