Should You Sit or Lie Down After Taking Aspirin for a Heart Attack?

Aspirin. It makes a big difference during a heart attack. Taking 300mg can make a real difference with survival. However, one question often remains while you wait for the ambulance: Should you lie the person down, or should they sit after they’ve taken aspirin? We’ll answer that question in this article.

What Australian Guidelines Say?

a pill of aspirin in a windowsill

This matter isn’t mentioned in Australian first aid guidelines. The Australian Resuscitation Council simply directs that you put the patient in a comfortable position. Regardless of if it’s sitting or lying down, you’ll want them to be in whatever position is comfortable.

However if your still wondering if one is better than the other, we’d love to recommend the seated position.

This means it’s not a priority in an emergency deciding whether they sit or stand. Just do what’s comfortable and get them the urgent help they need!

Why sitting might be better

Sitting is often a great position to be in to make breathing easier. When you are sitting upright it helps open up the airways and makes it easier for air to move in and out of the lungs. You also have gravity on your side which makes it easier for the chest to rise and fall.

On the other hand, lying down means the weight of your body can constrict the airways and make breathing more difficult.

Also, often during a heart attack emergency fluid can build up in the lungs, or low bloodflow can cause you to vomit, In such cases your risk of choking is less if you are seated. Remember to follow the DRSABCD plan though if someone is unconscious and not breathing.

a woman examines an elderly woman who is in distres


So let’s recap: Australian guidelines don’t get specific about it, do what’s comfortable. However if you have the choice, we recommend going seated. It will be easier for breathing and fluids. If you’d like to read up more on the topic, check out our article on first aid for heart attack.

Similar Posts