It is estimated that every 2 minutes, someone in the UK suffers a heart attack. That's over a quarter of a million a year with almost half of these incidents resulting in fatalities.
Time is always an issue with heart attacks, as the heart is prevented from functioning properly, and will ultimately stop beating.
You can usually recognise a heart attack by the pain the casualty feels, it has been described as a vice-like, crushing pain in their chest which may radiate down the arms or up to the jaw.
They will have rapid, short breathing and their skin will be pale, cold and clammy. They may collapse without warning, or be very fearful and anxious, with an impending sense of doom.
The best actions to take are to sit the casualty down on the floor, bend and support their knees.
Call 999 and ask for an ambulance - let them know you suspect a heart attack.
Allow the casualty to chew slowly on a 300mg Asprin (make sure they aren't allergic before giving this to them).
Reassure them, you want to casualty to stay as calm as possible.
Be prepared for them to lose consciousness, and to resuscitate if necessary.
Our handy infogram will guide you through the steps to treat someone who has suffered a heart attack.
For more information, you can get in touch with our customer care team on 0845 071 0820 who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.