What to do during a Stroke vs. Heart Attack
Both heart attacks and strokes occur suddenly and require immediate medical attention.
Both result from a lack of blood flow to critical body parts. A stroke is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain, while a heart attack is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the heart. The first aid treatments for each emergency differ.
- Don’t give them any medication.
- Although aspirin is a blood thinner, don’t give someone aspirin while they’re having a stroke.
- A blood clot is only one cause of a stroke. A stroke can also be caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain. Since you don’t know which type of stroke the person is having, don’t give any medication that could make bleeding worse.
What To Do In Case of A Stroke:
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their face droop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
Time: If you observe any of these symptoms, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.
Use the acronym FAST to remember how to recognize stroke symptoms.
Remember that when it comes to a stroke, every second counts. Treatment for strokes work most effectively within the first hours after the first symptom started. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms disappear.
Doctors recommend that if an individual experiences signs of a heart attack, to immediately call 911, then chew and swallow 325 mg tablets of Aspirin. The Aspirin slows clotting and decreases the size of the forming blood clot, thereby preventing the heart attack from becoming more severe.
If Experiencing a Heart Attack:
- Call 9-1-1
- Stop All Activity
- Chew and Swallow ASA tablet
- Rest and Wait
- Always ask the individual if they have any allergies to medication before handing them Aspirin.
- Ask the individual if they are on blood thinners as they may not be able to take Aspirin on top of their medication.
- Never force someone to take Aspirin from you, let them chew it on their own.