The best body position when you have a heart attack

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Experiencing a heart attack is a frightening situation not only for the person going through it but also for those around them. Understanding the best actions to take, including how to position yourself or someone else during a heart attack, can be lifesaving.

While the priority should always be to call emergency services immediately, knowing the correct posture to assume can provide some benefit while waiting for help to arrive.

This review delves into the best positions during a heart attack and highlights what should be avoided based on current research and expert advice.

The Recommended Position

During a heart attack, comfort and reducing strain on the heart are paramount.

Medical professionals suggest that the best position is sitting down in a somewhat reclined posture, with the back supported and knees bent.

This position helps by decreasing the work the heart has to do. Sitting up rather than lying down is advised because when you sit up, gravity helps blood circulation, making it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body.

A common recommendation is to sit on the ground, leaning back against a wall or chair, with knees bent and head and shoulders supported. This posture can help reduce the workload on the heart and can be comforting during the distress of a heart attack.

What Not to Do

While there’s a recommended position, there are also several actions and positions that should be avoided during a heart attack:

Do Not Lie Flat: Lying down flat can put additional strain on the heart as it works harder to circulate blood throughout the body.

Avoid Strenuous Activities: This includes trying to walk around or doing physical tasks. Strenuous activities increase the heart’s workload, which is the last thing you want during a heart attack.

Don’t Ignore the Pain: Attempting to “tough it out” can lead to worsening conditions. Acknowledge the pain and act quickly by calling emergency services.

Do Not Eat or Drink: It might be tempting to drink water or take aspirin if you think it’s a heart attack. While aspirin can be beneficial, it should only be taken if advised by a medical professional on the call, as misdiagnosis could lead to complications.

Avoid Cough CPR Myths: There’s a widespread myth that coughing vigorously can stop a heart attack. This advice is not only ineffective but can also be dangerous. The best action is to remain as calm as possible and wait for professional medical help.

Why This Matters

Adopting the right position and avoiding harmful actions can potentially make a significant difference in the outcome of a heart attack.

It’s crucial to remember that these measures are not treatments but temporary measures until emergency medical services arrive. The minutes during and after a heart attack are critical, and proper actions can be lifesaving.

In conclusion, while waiting for emergency help during a heart attack, sitting in a supported, semi-reclined position with knees bent can help. Avoiding certain actions and positions can also contribute to a better outcome.

Awareness of these simple yet effective steps can empower individuals to act more confidently and calmly in a crisis, potentially saving lives. Always remember, the immediate step is to call for emergency medical help if you or someone else is suspected of having a heart attack.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk, and herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

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