EAGER TO HELP: Steve Otton remembering the events of last August.
EAGER TO HELP: Steve Otton remembering the events of last August. Ebony Stansfield

'It could happen to anybody anywhere'

AFTER his first-hand experience with a man who is likely to have suffered from a heart attack, Steve Otton realised he should do a first aid course to make himself more aware of how to handle a similar situation in the future.

Early August, Mr Otton was at the Brooms Head General Store and was having a chat with Jo Condon, when a car quickly swung into the carpark.

He said the Ms Condon noticed their facial expressions and thought "something is going on here".

They both ducked outside and in a panicked state, the woman asked them to call an ambulance.

"My partner is having a heart attack."

He said Jo got straight onto triple zero and two ambulances came out "in no time".

He said they had a quick look at the man, and described him as very pale but stable holding his hand on his chest.

"I was astounded at the the quick response of the ambos," he said.

Mr Otton said he felt helpless in the situation and didn't know what to do to help the man.

Mr Otton said this has prompted him to plan take a first aid course in the future.

"(I want) to make myself more aware of how to handle a situation like this, where heart problems may be right in front of me or if I was in the same situation," he said.

"It could happen to anybody anywhere and a lot of people probably don't know what to do other than call 000."

Mr Otton said especially when an ambulance could be a long way away.

"Here in Brooms Head that would probably be a good 15-20 minutes before they get out here," he said.

What to do if you think you are having a heart attack

If you feel any of the above symptoms, the Heart Foundation website recommends following these steps:

  • Stop: Rest Immediately.
  • Talk: Tell someone.
  • If you take angina medicine: take a dose of your medicine. Wait five minutes. Still have symptoms? Take another dose of your medicine. Wait five minutes.
  • Phone Triple Zero if your symptoms are severe, getting worse or have lasted for 10 minutes. Chew 300mg aspirin. Unless you have an allergy to aspirin or if your doctor has told you not to take it.

Common heart attack symptoms

If you experience the warning signs of a heart attack, phone Triple Zero (000) immediately and ask for an ambulance.

You may have just one of these symptoms, or a combination.

  • Discomfort or pain in your chest this can often feel like a heaviness, tightness or pressure.
  • Although chest pain is a common symptom of a heart attack, some people may not experience this at all.
  • You may have a choking feeling in your throat. Your arms may feel heavy or useless.
  • You may have a pain, pressure, heaviness, or tightness in your arm(s) shoulder(s), neck, jaw or back.
  • Feel short of breath.
  • Feel nauseous.
  • Have a cold sweat.
  • Feel dizzy or light-headed.
  • Feeling generally unwell or 'not quite right'.

Symptoms can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse. They usually last for at least 10 minutes.

SOURCE: Heart Foundation Australia website



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