Regular health checks, like these in Sierra Leone, can help to detect the early signs of disease. Photo: Jim Loring/Tearfund

From: Non-communicable diseases – Footsteps 87

Ways to share health messages and reduce the risk of developing non-communicable diseases

HEART ATTACK

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot. The lack of blood to the heart can seriously damage the heart muscles. If left untreated, the muscles will begin to die. The medical term for a heart attack is myocardial infarction.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:


What can you do?


STROKE

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Like all organs, the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients provided by blood to function properly. If the supply of blood is restricted or stopped, brain cells begin to die. This can lead to brain damage and sometimes death.

Symptoms of a stroke include:


What can you do?


In both cases, encourage the patient and let them know you are there to support them

The recovery position



If a person is unconscious but is breathing and has no other life-threatening conditions, they should be placed in the recovery position. Putting someone in the recovery position will ensure the airway remains clear and open. It also ensures that any vomit or fluid will not cause them to choke.

To place someone in the recovery position:


Please note this position is not suitable for babies.



The recovery position

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