Heart Attack and Stroke in the Work Place: Do you know the Warning Signs?
Recognizing the early warning signs of a heart attack or stroke could save someone’s life.
Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies from heart disease or stroke (Statistics Canada, 2011). If a co-worker was experiencing symptoms of a stroke or heart attack at a job site, would you be able to recognize the signs and act?
In this post, you will learn what to look for when someone in the workplace is experiencing a stroke or a heart attack.
What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack happens when sections of the heart muscle are blocked from receiving blood often by way of a clogged artery. Blood restriction causes a portion of the heart muscle to die.
WARNING SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK
Recognizing the warning signs of a heart attack could save someone’s life. Be aware of the following symptoms among your co-workers.
- Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness) Confusion or trouble understanding other people
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
- Shortness of breath
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF SOMEONE IS HAVING A HEART ATTACK?
If someone is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, be sure to take the appropriate steps to mitigate the effects of blood loss to the brain.
- Call 9-1-1 (or have someone call for you)
- Stop all activity, have the person sit or lay down
- If the sufferer takes nitroglycerin regularly, take your normal dosage
- With the advice of a 9-1-1 operator, chew and swallow two 80mg tables of ASA – Aspirin (do not take acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead)
What is a Stroke?
A stroke is a blood clot preventing your brain from getting the blood it requires. The important thing is what you do if stroke symptoms happen; the sooner the treatment, the less chance of serious damage to the brain and less chance of permanent disability.
WARNING SIGNS OF A STROKE
Recognizing the warning signs of a stroke could prevent serious damage. Be aware of the following signs among your co-workers.
- Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
- Confusion or trouble understanding other people
- Trouble speaking
- Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
- Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
- Severe headache that comes on for no known reason
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF SOMEONE IS HAVING A STROKE?
If someone is experiencing symptoms of a stroke, be sure to take the appropriate steps to mitigate the effects of blood loss to the brain.
- Don’t ignore stroke warning signs – even if you have just one warning sign or if symptoms are mild or go away.
- Don’t wait! Every minute counts.
- Call 911 or emergency medical services (EMS) if you have one or more symptoms for more than a few minutes. An ambulance can get you to a hospital without delay.
- Check the time when symptoms begin. This is important information to share when you arrive at the hospital.
Even if you’re not 100% sure if someone is experiencing a stroke, be sure to act as soon as possible. It’s better to have a wasted trip to the hospital rather than risk permanent damage. Having some basic knowledge to recognize the symptoms of a stroke or heart attack could save your own or a co-worker’s life and prevent any long-term damage. Not ignoring the signs and making a quick response is your best bet to ensure a positive outcome to an emergency.
Submitted by: www.safetylineloneworker.com