Quick action prevents fatal heart attack; seconds count

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Ionne Barnes-Joshua
  • 452d AMXS
Hello once again fellow Airmen, 

Do you wonder where the First Sergeants get this information they share with you? We are glad you asked and we are happy to tell you. Some information comes from e-mails we receive from other people who are or have been assigned here at March and other information is just from non military information. We are still hoping that there will be more communication between the men and women here at March who will choose to communicate with the First Sgts. through the availability of the article section in the base paper here, the Beacon. 

So, the information we have to share with you now is regarding your personal health safety. Once again, we have modified the article to add information we felt is important, (the information was reviewed by Col. Richard Dinsdale of our clinic to make sure we are providing the correct information also). 

The information provided here was sent via a non military e-mail and it is taken from Health Cares, Rochester General Hospital via Chapter 240s newsletter. (reprint from The Mended Hearts, Inc. publication, Heart Response). The article was titled "AND THE BEAT GOES ON .." 

So, many of you have been trained in CPR, but the instructor, who taught the course, didn't tell you what to do if it happened to yourself. What can you do? 

How to manage a heart attack when you are alone. Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed to be in order. Without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. 

To help themselves, (while trying not to panic), dial 911 even if they cannot speak to the operator, (do not hang up the phone though) the victim can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, because when producing sputum, (phlegm, pronounced -- flem, is a sticky thick fluid secreted by the mucus membranes from deep inside the chest). A breath and a cough must be repeated about very two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. 

Taking deep breaths allows oxygen to get into the lungs and the action caused by coughing squeezes the heart and keeps the blood circulating. 

The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital. Tell as many other people as possible about this, it could save their lives! Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed to be in order. 

Your First Sgts. hope this information will be helpful to our military members and we hope they will share it with their family and friends. Who knows, between us, we could save a life, right?