First Aid Techniques
At the Emergency Scene
Action in An Emergency
Assessing a Casualty
Maintaining Airway,
Breathing, and Circulation
What to do When Somebody has Collapsed
The recovery Position for
The recovery Position for
Children and Babies
Rescue Breathing for Adults
Rescue Breathing for
Children and Babies
CPR for Adults
CPR for Children and Babies
Choking in Adults
Choking in Children
Choking in Babies
Everyday First Aid
Minor Wounds
Infected Wounds
Dealing with Splinters and
Fish Hooks
Foreign Bodies
Animal Bites
Insect Bites and Stings
More on Bites and Stings
Earaches, Toothache, and
Sore Throat
Abdominal Pain
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Hysteria, Hiccups, and Panic
Equipment, Medicines, and Complementary Medicine
Using Dressings and Cold
First Aid Kit for the Home
First Aid Kit for the Car
Wilderness First Aid Kit
Observation Chart/Victim
Storing and Using Medication
Commonly Prescribed
What They Do and Side
Drug Interactions
The Complementary
Medicine Chest
Heart Problems

The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body, which it does with the help of the thick-walled and muscular arteries and the other vessels of the circulatory system. The heart is controlled by regular electrical impulses that tell it when to contract. Like all other muscles, the heart needs its own blood supply and this is provided by the coronary (heart) arteries.

When this blood supply fails to run smoothly, the body starts to experience problems such as angina pectoris (angina) and heart attack. Either of these may lead to the heart stopping (cardiac arrest).


Throughout life, the arteries are clogging up with fatty deposits. As these fatty deposits cause the coronary and other arteries to become narrower, it becomes increasingly difficult for blood to flow around the body. The clogged coronary arteries can just about supply blood to the heart when it is pumping at a normal rate but when the heart rate speeds up the arteries cannot cope with the demand. This leads to an angina attack, a frightening, severe, crushing chest pain that acts as a warning to the victim to calm down or to rest.


  1. Sit the victim down and reassure her. This reduces the demands being placed on the heart.

  2. Angina sufferers may have medicine that will help relieve an attack. This is often in the form of a puffer or a pill that is placed under the tongue. The drug works by dilating the blood vessels, thereby increasing circulation to the heart. Help the victim to take this medication.

  3. Call an ambulance if the pain does not appear to ease or if the victim is not known angina sufferer.

  4. If the victim has regular attacks, listen to what she wants to do next.


If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, the area of the heart being supplied by that particular blood vessel will be starved of oxygen and will eventually die. This blockage may be caused by a clot, a condition often referred to as a coronary thrombosis.

The development of advanced cardiac care in hospital and good-post hospital care means that the heart attack patients have a good chance of making a full recovery. This is important information to remember when you are reassuring somebody having a heart attack.


These signs and symptoms are generally the same as those of angina--indeed, the patient may initially suffer an angina attack that becomes a heart attack. The key difference is that heart attacks do not always follow physical exertion. While angina sufferers will recover from their attack on resting, heart attack patients do not tend to improve without medical treatment.


  1. Move the victim into a semi-sitting position, head and shoulders supported and knees bent, as this is generally the best position to breathe in.
  2. Reassure the victim and do not let her move, as this will place an extra strain on the heart.

  3. Call for an ambulance as soon as possible because the victim needs hospital care.

  4. If the victim has angina medication, let her take this. If you have an ordinary aspirin, give her one to chew (without water).
Keep a continual check on the breathing and pulse and be prepared to resuscitate if necessary
Vomiting and Diarrhea

First Aid Procedures
Breathing Difficulties
Anaphylactic Shock
Heart Problems
Treatment of External Bleeding
Bleeding from the Head or
Treating Chest or Abdominal
Crush Injuries, Impalement,
and Amputation
Internal Bleeding
Eye Wounds and Embedded
Bleeding from Special Sites
Controlling Bleeding from the Mouth and Nose
Fractures, Discolorations, and
Soft Tissue Injuries
How to Treat Fractures
Fractures of the Skull, Face,
and Jaw
Fractures of the Upper Body
Fractures of the Arm and Hand
Fractures of the Ribcage
Recognizing Back and Spinal
If you have to move the Victim
Unconscious Victim
Injuries to the Lower Body
Injuries to the Lower Leg
Sprains and Strains
Burns and Scalds
Treating Other Types of Burn
Chemical Burns and Eye Burns
Extreme Cold
Extreme Heat
Poisoning from Household
Poisoning from Industrial
Drug Poisoning
Alcohol Poisoning
Food Poisoning
Emergency Childbirth
Wilderness First Aid
What to Do if You are a Long Way from Help
Wilderness First Aid
Avalanche and Snow Survival Techniques
Cold Water Survival
Stretcher Improvising
Loading and Carrying a
One-and-Two-Person Carries
Helicopter Rescue