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HEART ATTACKS

The American Heart Association lists the following as possible signs and symptoms of a heart attack: Pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting two minutes or longer. The pain may come and go. The pain may spread to either shoulder, the neck, lower jaw or either arm. Any or all of the following: weakness, dizziness, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath.

A heart attack means the heart has stopped pumping blood to the vital organs. It is one of the leading causes of death. Many people will deny that they are having a heart attack, so even if a person only has a few of the symptoms, it is critical to seek help immediately. A heart attack can happen anytime, anywhere, so you need to be prepared.

First, get help, call for an ambulance or dial 911 and tell the operator that you have a medical emergency. If the person that is having the attack is conscious, help them sit down. Keep the victim warm and comfortable. Loosen clothing around the neck and waist. Ask the victim if they are taking any kind of medication. If they are unconscious check for some type of medical ID card or medical alert bracelet, and check the ABC's (A for airway - check for obstructions, B for breathing, C for circulation - check for a pulse) and then start CPR if you are trained do so.

Heart attack prevention starts by watching what you do. Exercise regularly, stop smoking, avoid fatty foods, and reduce stress. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns. Heart attacks come unannounced so be prepared. Have a plan and use it when the need arises. Sometime, somewhere, someone is going to need your help! Are you ready to help a loved one or a co-worker? Keep current on your first aid and CPR training. It could mean saving a life!

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS SHOULD BE POSTED NEXT TO EVERY TELEPHONE AT WORK AS WELL AS AT HOME.

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