Heart of a Hunter: What to do if a buddy goes down

Learn signs of heart attack, hands only CPR

Once hunting season arrives, every hunter should look out for his or her buddies. Although big meals, staying up late, and lots of smoking and drinking might be a tradition for many hunters in the woods, they can really drag a person down the next day. BuddyBlogImage.fw

Instead, treat the night before a hunt as if you were an athlete with a big game the next day.

Out in the woods, pay attention to any problems your hunting companions have. If you’re with someone and they start getting short of breath, looking pale, or feeling faint or nauseous – of if they feel sudden pain or lose feeling in any part of their body, get help immediately.

Even if the sensation goes away within a few minutes, don’t ignore it – it can be a warning sign that something even worse is about to happen. Call 911 from your cell phone if you can get reception, or radio to someone who can. Every minute you hesitate could mean your buddy’s life.

Warning signs of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest:

Heart attack – Most heart attacks involve discomfort and can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Cardiac arrest – There’s a sudden loss of responsiveness and there’s no response from tapping on shoulders.

Stroke – You can spot a stroke by remembering F.A.S.T :

  • Face dropping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile?
  • Arm weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like “the sky is blue.” Can they repeat it correctly?
  • Time to call 911.

If you are alone with an adult who has these signs of cardiac arrest, call 911 and begin CPR which can be done with hands only by pushing hard and fast at the center of the chest until help arrives. CPR can more than double a person’s chance of survival.

Take the next step:


Dr. Eric Good is a cardiologist at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center who specializes in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders — a specialty known as electrophysiology. ’Hunter’ isn’t the only green for this wolverine – as he has roots at Michigan State University where he earned his medical degree.



The University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardivascular Center is the top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit www.umcvc.org