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Heart attack first aid

  • Alternative Names

    First aid - heart attack; First aid - cardiopulmonary arrest; First aid - cardiac arrest


    Adults should take steps to control heart disease risk factors whenever possible.

    • If you smoke, quit. Smoking more than doubles the chance of developing heart disease.
    • Keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes in good control and follow your doctor's orders.
    • Lose weight if obese or overweight.
    • Get regular exercise to improve heart health. (Talk to your doctor before starting any new fitness program.)
    • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Limit saturated fats, red meat, and sugars. Increase your intake of chicken, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Your health care provider can help you tailor a diet specific to your needs.
    • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. One drink a day is associated with reducing the rate of heart attacks, but two or more drinks a day can damage the heart and cause other medical problems.


    Hollander JE. Acute coronary syndromes. Acute myocardial infarction and unstable angina. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medcinie: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY:McGraw-Hill;2004:chap 50.

    Anderson JL, Adams CD, Antman EM, Bridges CR, Califf RM, Casey DE Jr., et al. ACC/AHA 2007 guidelines for the management of patients with unstable angina/non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the 2002 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Unstable Angina/Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) developed in collaboration with the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons endorsed by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;50:e1-e157.