Many people survive heart attacks and continue to live full, active lives, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Survival is greatly dependent on how fast one gets treatment and the amount of damage done to the heart.
If an individual appears to be experiencing a heart attack, the first thing to do is call for immediate emergency medical attention by dialing 911 or the local emergency number, states Mayo Clinic. If the individual has been prescribed nitroglycerin, the next step is to take that while awaiting emergency help. Over the phone, the 911 operator may advise administration of aspirin as well, but it is important to do so only when recommended by medical personnel. If the person experiencing the heart attack loses consciousness, first call 911 and then begin CPR.