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Do Not Be Carrie Bradshaw or How to Help Someone Who Has a Heart Attack

woman in blue t-shirt and blue pants holding baby

  • Spoilers ahead for And Just Like That …, the Sex and the City Reboot on HBO Max. Although this news is hard to ignore, regardless of whether you watch the show or not.

Be aware that we are not Carrie Bradshaw and will be jumping right into action. Here’s the story: Carrie’s husband John, also known as “Big”, has a heart attack. After a long, intense Peloton indoor cycling session and puffing on a cigar, Big collapses in front of the shower. Carrie then finds him and jumps in to action. Carrie actually finds him and freezes. They stare at one another. He slumps down. She yells. She sprints to him. She doesn’t call 911. She doesn’t perform CPR. Instead, she speaks via a Carrie Bradshaw voiceover: “And so that Big died.”

Fans from all walks of life, including those who are outraged or dumbfounded, want to know if Carrie is to blame for Big’s death. What can someone do in such a situation? What is my fate in that situation? (Probably not.)

First, call 911 immediately if you believe you or someone you know is suffering from a heart attack. Do not be a Carrie. Be a hero. This article will help you recognize the signs and how to respond if you have a heart attack.

How to spot signs of a heart attack

While some heart attacks can occur suddenly, others are more gradual and may be detected hours or days ahead of time. Mayo Clinic says that a person suffering from a heart attack could have any of the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest, or a sensation that feels like it is squeezing or aching in the middle of the chest.
  • The pain or discomfort can spread to the arm, shoulder, back, neck or jaw.
  • Nausea, indigestion or heartburn can be caused by stomach pains.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting
  • Sweating

A heart attack can cause chest pain lasting more than 15 minutes. However, some people experience no pain or pressure. The discomfort may last for several minutes or be persistent. It can also disappear after a few minutes and then return. For example, women tend to experience more subtle symptoms like nausea, back, or jaw pain.

Time is everything (looking at Carrie)

Beth Skwarecki, Senior Health Editor at Lifehacker CPR-certified, said that while Carrie’s shock was understandable, Big’s death might have been avoided.

The Red Cross states that seeking medical attention as soon as symptoms of heart attacks are identified can help minimize the damage to the heart, and even save lives. The outcomes of heart attack victims are much better if they seek help within the first 90 minutes of onset of symptoms and within 60 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

For And Just Like That… fans, Rachel Handler examined the facts about the Big heart attack in Vulture. Handler discovered that Big had been suffering from a heart attack for approximately 30 minutes before Carrie found him. This would have given Carrie time to take action. What should she have done instead?

How to help someone who is suffering from a heart attack

You can find more information at the Red Cross guidelines.

We want to make it clear: calling 911 or your local emergency line is the first thing that you should do. Do not ignore symptoms. If you are the victim of a heart attack and can’t get an ambulance, emergency vehicle or other means to transport you to the hospital, a friend or neighbor may be able to drive you. Only drive yourself if there is no alternative. Driving yourself can make your condition worsen and put you and others in danger.

If someone is having symptoms or stops breathing, you should be ready to perform CPR. You can start CPR to maintain blood flow after calling emergency medical assistance if the person stops breathing or isn’t responding. Push the person’s chest hard in a fast rhythm, about 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

You can call 911 even if you don’t know how CPR works or you don’t know how to find a pulse.

Here’s some other stuff you can do in the interim:

  • While you wait for emergency assistance, chew and swallow an aspirin. Aspirin prevents your blood from clotting. Aspirin can be taken during a heart attack to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
  • If prescribed, take nitroglycerin (Big is.) (Or Big was.) (RIP, Big.) You should not take nitroglycerin if you believe you are having a heart attack.
  • If an automatic external defibrillator is available immediately and the person is not conscious, then follow the instructions to use it.
  • Encourage the person to lie down in a comfortable place and remove any tight clothing. Sitting is a great way to allow your body to breathe.
  • Assist the person with any concerns and keep them informed until EMS personnel arrive to take charge.

Could Carrie have saved Big?

Theoretically, yes. Vulture is told by Daniel Luger, a Chicago-based cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center.

Carrie had to know that if he became unconscious or lost his pulse, she should immediately begin CPR. Start chest compressions and call 911 to check for a pulse. Because you can absolutely stimulate blood flow to the brain and the rest of the vital organs with CPR, and once EMS came, they could have resuscitated him immediately with medications and defibrillation…

This is a PSA: If you see somebody lose consciousness, the first thing you do is feel for a pulse. You should immediately call EMS if there is no pulse and begin chest compressions. That is a sure way to save lives. He didn’t have to die. This is a terrible travesty.

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