OrthoVirginia Blog

OrthoVirginia - Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

We as your physical therapists are certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).  Having recently completed our re-certification, here are some interesting facts from which all of our patients can benefit.


-In regards to a heart attack, "taking an aspirin as soon as symptoms start greatly improves the chance of survival." (American Heart Association).   If cleared to take aspirin by your doctor, you should chew one aspirin or take four baby aspirin.  Be sure to chew the aspirin as this helps with absorption. 


-Signs of a heart attack can include the following:  pain in the chest, arms, jaw, back, neck or stomach;  shortness of breath;  cold sweat;  nauseau;  lightheadedness.


-The American Heart Association recommends that anyone, regardless of training, perform chest compressions on a person in cardiac arrest.  "Don't be afraid;  your actions can only help.  If you see an unresponsive adult who is not breathing or not breathing normally, call 911 and push hard and fast on the center of the chest." (American Heart Association).


-Here are some additional statistics from the American Heart Association:



  • Failure to act in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths.
  • Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.
  • Sadly, less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.  (American Heart Association)

Please see www.heart.org for additional information.