Six minutes to save a life: Harvard Heart Letter's heart attack

BOSTON, MA – When it comes to cardiac arrest, you may have at the most six minutes to save someone's life. This small window of opportunity means that knowing and understanding the threat of cardiac arrest is extremely vital. The February issue of Harvard Heart Letter defines this type of heart attack, discusses ways to recognize it, and outlines steps readers can take if they see someone go into cardiac arrest.

Recognizing the signs can make response time quicker and may help save a life. Someone having a cardiac arrest:

The February issue recommends that you call 911 right away if you suspect someone has gone into cardiac arrest. The next step is to administer CPR because compressing the person's chest keeps blood flowing to the brain and the rest of the body. It is also recommended to ask a bystander to find out if there is a nearby automated external defibrillator— an instrument used to shock the heart out of its deadly pace and back into a normal, steady rhythm. Some people are buying these devices for their homes.

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