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What to Do If You’re Having a Heart Attack

Automated external defibrillators are now widely available in public places. (This one’s at the September 11 memorial in New York.) If you’re having a heart attack in a mall or school, for example, have someone look for an AED in case you need it. AEDs are also available to buy for home use. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH When I first started practicing, in the early 1980s, what we would do for a heart attack was simple. (Of course many more died back then also.) If you were suspected of having a heart attack you were placed in a cardiac-care unit, put on oxygen, and given pain medicine as needed. We tried to regulate your blood pressure and carefully monitored and treated you for the dangerous irregular heartbeats. […]

By | November 6th, 2012|General, Getting Started|32 Comments

How to Slow a Fast Heart Rate

In the photo, the carotid artery (red) runs up the neck between the Adam’s apple and the internal jugular vein (blue). This is good to know when you need to do the carotid maneuver. (See the post.) by James Hubbard, MD, MPH You’re in the middle of a disaster or on a long hike, and suddenly you feel a little faint. Or maybe you feel butterflies in your chest. You check your pulse, and it’s going really fast. Since your pulse is an extension of your heart, that means you have a really fast heart rate also. What do you do? […]

By | October 25th, 2012|General|149 Comments