29-04-2021 / Health and Fitness

How to Stop a Heart Attack when you are Alone at Home

Heart attacks by nature make people panic; losing your cool while confronting one is not helpful. Knowing the symptoms, what to do and what not to while experiencing a heart attack could be lifesaving at times.

Heart Disease
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed
Mazia Ahmed
MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar
Medically Cited
Fact Checked

Table of Content


Heart attack can occur to anyone at any point in his/her life. Nobody knows whether he/she will experience one while being in a crowd or alone at home. By their nature and associated risk levels, a heart attack or cardiac arrest is a numbing experience not only for the one who is having it but also for those around him. However, the situation can be handled effectively only if someone is knowledgeable about what measures to take.

CVD Statistics in India

What is a Heart Attack?

  • The muscle of a heart needs oxygen to work properly and survive. A heart attack happens when the blood fails to bring the necessary amount of oxygen to the heart.

  • Several coronary arteries that work as the passageway for the blood flow to reach the heart can become internally narrowed from fat build-up, cholesterol, or other substances. All these substances are called plaque.

  • When such plaque within an artery breaks, blood clots form around it and block the flow of blood, as a result, the heart muscle starves for oxygen, and eventually, a heart attack occurs.

Cardiovascular disease Graph

8 Symptoms or Warning Signs of Heart Attack

1. Knowing and detecting the symptoms can escalate the chance of surviving a heart attack. It will give you time to take some measures like calling for an ambulance, a hospital, or any other emergency numbers.

2. Heart attacks usually do not give any sign of warning before occurring; still, in most cases, they show below mentioned symptoms:

3. Chest Pain and Discomfort: These are the most common symptoms of a heart attack. An acute, mild or vague pain can be felt at the left side or from the center of the chest. You can feel discomfort out of squeezing, excessive pressure, pain, and fullness.

4. Feeling weak or faint: You can suddenly feel too weak or faint out. Out of excessive discomfort, a cold sweat could break out.

5. Neck and Back Pain: You can feel numbing pain or numbness in the neck, back, and jaw area.

6. Arms and Shoulder: The same type of pain can be felt in both arms and shoulders.

7. Shortness of Breath: Difficulty in breathing can happen as the pain rises.

8. Fast heartbeat: The heart can suddenly start beating fast.

4 things to do while you are experiencing a Heart Attack?

In most regular cases, heart attacks progress slowly by giving only mild pain and discomfort. Once you can understand that you are on an attack, try to reach the phone and call an ambulance service or your doctor.

1. Call Emergency Numbers

Caling Emergency Number
  • The moment you understand your condition deteriorates, call for emergency help. Be it the police, ambulance, fire brigade, or a hospital. You should find a way to get any professional help.

  • Specialists advise avoiding calling a friend, or family members, or relatives. Instead, they suggest having professionals by your side as soon as possible. The ambulance service sent from a hospital should provide instant therapy and diagnosis as fast as possible.

2. Stay Calm

  • The hardest thing that you can do while having a heart attack is to calm yourself down. You must keep in mind that exertion will do nothing but worsen the situation. No amount of panic or stress will save you if you fall into this trap.

  • So, do the opposite. You should try to be in your head and to realize the situation. A calm mind will be the most important thing to estimate the danger and manage it effectively. So, rest as much as you can, and relax down your body.

  • Tell yourself that help is one the way. Remind yourself not to worry as it will just degrade the situation and make it scarier.

3. Take an Aspirin

  • Remember that your priority is to call for professional emergency help. All the measures are of secondary priority. Once you make that call and ensure the help is incoming, keep yourself calm. Then if you find it possible, find yourself a piece of aspirin. Experts say that it is advisable to take tablets with a dosage of around 300mg.

Taking Asprin
  • If you have a low-power tablet, take a few of them to compensate. But take them fast and let them mix with your bloodstream. Aspirin reduces the clumping of platelets and slows down the blood clotting. Thus, it might relieve pain and other symptoms slightly.

4. Make Yourself Reachable

  • Keeping yourself calm and exertion free, make sure that whoever is coming to help you can reach you. Unlock the main entrance and get the list of the medication you are currently on.

  • If you still have the ability, you can consider calling some friends or family members. It will help to have some people who know you by your side in such times of emergency.

2 Fastest Ways to Prevent a Heart Attack

There isn’t any way to prevent an attack without being under emergency medical care or at a hospital. But there are some options suggested by different specialists to alleviate the pain and risk imposed by the arrest.

1. Cough CPR

According to the specialists, a heavy Cough CPR can set a less beating heart to its normal state. They have given many reasons for doing so to back their advice. But the U.S. heart association does not support nor advise cough CPR. Some specialists suggest Cough CPR escalate the condition. They claim that coughing deeply and heavily after breathing will raise the blood pressure for a short while. They also claim that this process ensures more blood supply to the brain.

Giving CPR

2. Pepper

  • There is a saying that narrates that you should try even the way that seems to be the least to be a viable solution in dangerous situations. In addition to other established ways to handle a heart attack alone, you may consider eating only a bit of pepper. Capsaicin is supposed to raise blood pressure and help dismantle the blood clot.

  • Specialists suggest people take pepper by mixing it with a glass of water. A spoonful of the pepper would suffice. They say that pepper can stimulate the heart rate and increase the pace of blood flow. Moreover, these peppers are reported to balance blood circulation, lessening the risk of fatal consequences.

Word of Wisdom

  • So, these sum up the ways you can handle a heart attack all by yourself. As it is said for all other diseases that prevention is far better than cure, it is also the best fit for a heart attack. Though not all responsible factors for such fortuitous happening can be checked, you can still control some. Avoiding smoking, high cholesterol food, and being physically active are great measures to prevent heart attacks.

  • And even if one happens, don’t go panicking, rushing, or stressing yourself out of horror. Stay calm as your brain is your best friend at that time, and use it to lessen the risk factors. It will be lifesaving.

FAQ on How to Stop a Heart Attack

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