ST JOHN Ambulance, the volunteer-lead health charity, has teamed up with the Basingstoke Gazette to bring you some first aid tips.

This week, unit manager Joshua Hensman, takes us through what to do when someone has a heart attack.

A heart attack happens when the supply of blood to part of the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot. You can make a full recovery following a heart attack, but this may depend on how much of the heart is affected.

What to look for

1.Have crushing pain in the centre of their chest, that may spread to their jaw and down one or both arms

2. Be breathless or gasping for breath.

3. Be sweating profusely.

4. Experience pain similar to indigestion.

5. Collapse without warning.

6. Complain of dizziness

7. Have pale skin and their lips may have a blue tinge.  

8. Have a rapid, weak or irregular pulse.

9. Have a feeling of impending doom.

What to do

1. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help straight away and tell them you think someone is having a heart attack 

2.Help move the casualty into a comfortable position. The best position is on the floor, with their knees bent and their head and shoulders supported or you could place cushions behind them or under their knees.

3. Give them one aspirin tablet (300mg) and ask them to chew it slowly. Do not give aspirin to the casualty if they are under 16 or if they are allergic to it.

4. Ask the casualty to take their own angina medication

5. Keep monitoring the casualty’s level of response until emergency help arrives.

For more free first aid advice go to St John Ambulance’s website or download the free first aid app from your app store.

For information about volunteering with St John Ambulance in Basingstoke, please contact Joshua Hensman on email