March 2017 – Warning Signs of Heart Attack/Stroke & New EMS Guidelines

What are the common signs of a heart attack? Persistent pain or discomfort in the chest that feels like an elephant sitting on your chest, lightheadedness, nausea with/without vomiting, jaw, neck or back pain, discomfort that increases in pain in arm or shoulder, sweating, skin pale or grayish hue to skin, and shortness of breath. With any of these signs CALL 911.


What are the common signs of a stroke? Sudden slurred speech, confusion or understanding, difficulty speaking, facial droop, and numbness or weakness on one side of body, sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, loss of vision in one or both eyes, and a sudden severe headache with no known cause. The acronym FAST for caring for someone who may be experiencing a stroke is FACE

drooping, ARM weakness, SPEECH difficulty and TIME to call 911. Time is of the essence for getting to a hospital to treat the symptoms within 90 minutes and may prevent long-term disability.


What to do – first and foremost call 911. Remain calm. Obtain all medications; get detailed description of the time when symptoms began (very important with stroke like symptoms) and keep the individual in a position of comfort. Stay with that person. Individuals with any medical history, it is a recommendation, that an index card is attached to your refrigerator door for information that can be given to EMS on arrival. Listed on that card should be allergies, all medications scheduled and as needed (include vitamins), immunization history, living will, and all health care providers names/phone numbers.


New EMS Guidelines which will be enacted is CPR for a full thirty minutes on the scene before transporting to the hospital. First responders will be able to assess pulse, airway, bleeding, and need for intervention: AED/defibrillator, CPR, initiating an intravenous access, and airway management. This may be difficult for families and others to watch and wonder why are they not transporting to nearest ED. Studies have shown that on scene 30 minute resuscitation improves the outcomes for the individual.


Upcoming Screening: March 21 st – Dental Screenings with Coastal Dental

Posted by: Jennifer Romph Published:3/1/17
Audience: Nurse