handle a heart emergency at work

How To Handle A Heart Emergency At Work

Heart attacks, angina, and cardiac arrest are a few of the serious heart emergencies that we all hope to never experience in our lifetimes. In most cases, they come out of the blue, giving little warning before they appear.

Unfortunately, heart emergencies can occur anytime, anywhere, and in anyone. It can be frightening and scary to the one experiencing it and those around them.

These emergencies sometimes occur in the workplace. You’re going about a regular day when suddenly you or someone else starts to feel it coming and collapses. In the event of this happening in a workplace, the person experiencing the emergency will require immediate support and care. Here’s what you should do when there’s a heart emergency at work.

Try Not To Panic

While it’s possible to reduce the risk of heart attacks and other heart emergencies with regular fitness and exercise, the reality is that heart emergencies can occur in any individual. The unpredictable nature of such emergencies often means that they come as a shock. Signs of heart emergencies include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, etc.

It’s easier said than done, but if you or another person suspects they have a heart emergency in the workplace, try your best to stay calm. Staying as calm as possible during a heart emergency is essential. It may help the person in trouble to feel assured that they have good support. You’ll need your head to be as clear as possible for the next steps.

handle a heart emergency at work

Emergency CPR If The Person Is Unconscious

If the person is unconscious, they may need emergency Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Most workplaces should have at least one person with first aid training. This person should be capable of instructing everyone on what to do next.

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) restarts a heart when a pulse is lost. Most workplaces are usually required by law to have an AED on site.

If someone is experiencing a heart emergency at work, you’ll want to locate the nearby AED and keep it on hand in case it’s needed. They usually include simple instructions to follow. If one of these needs to be used, remember to pay particular attention to the AED pad position. The AED will usually be with the first-aid kit and is ideally operated by an individual with first-aid training.

Wherever there’s a first-aid kit and AED, there are usually emergency CPR instructions nearby. If the person isn’t unconscious, continue with the next steps.

Call 911

As soon as someone in the workplace starts exhibiting signs of a heart emergency, someone should call 911 or another appropriate emergency medical response. If possible, someone else should be calling 911 while another person attends to the person in question. Emergency medical services will be on their way as soon as possible and may guide you to make them feel more comfortable while they wait.


Aspirin is known to keep blood from clotting. Taking aspirin can help ease the symptoms of heart emergencies and could reduce any possible heart damage. Unless a medical professional has instructed the person experiencing symptoms never to take aspirin or is allergic to aspirin, they might benefit from it.

If they’re unable to communicate due to severe symptoms and nobody else knows for sure, it’s better to play it safe. In that case, to avoid possible complications, instead, hold off on the aspirin.

Offer Them A Seat

A person experiencing a heart emergency is likely to have difficulty standing up. Bring them a chair and get them seated. Please encourage them to try to relax and to control their breathing. Assist them to a chair, the floor, wherever they’re comfortable. Sitting down may help to ease the strain on their heart.

Support Them While They Wait

If someone has a heart emergency at work, they’re probably scared, stressed, and in pain. Once an emergency line has been called and the person is seated, reassuring them may be the most helpful thing you can do while waiting for help to arrive.

Be Prepared To Handle Medical Emergencies

Last but certainly not least, the number one absolute best thing you can do to handle heart emergencies at work is to be prepared to do so beforehand. You’re probably aware of the potential risks if you’re reading this. Consider having some first-aid training and certification if you want to be prepared for heart and other medical emergencies at work.

First-aid trained employees are beneficial to a workplace, so your company might be willing to pay for you and some colleagues to receive training. Training and preparation can be the key to helping someone who may need them in the future.

The Takeaway

Sometimes heart emergencies happen. If you or someone else at work is experiencing heart trouble, don’t panic. Thankfully, recovery from these emergencies is possible in many cases. Follow the steps in this article to handle heart emergencies at work or anywhere else.

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