Act in Time
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute have launched a new
"Act in Time" campaignto increase people's awareness of heart
attack and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the
onset of heart attack symptoms.
Knowledge is Power
Know the signs of a heart attack, but be aware that symptoms can
vary from person to person. Usual signs of a heart attack include
chest pain, discomfort, heaviness or fullness in the chest,
discomfort in arms, neck, jaw, stomach, shortness of breath, cold
sweat or even nausea and vomiting. Sometimes these symptoms can
come on suddenly but they can develop slowly. Not every chest
pain is a heart attack, but it is impossible to know that before
evaluation by a medical professional. Call 9-1-1 if you think you
may be suffering from these symptoms. Do not drive yourself the
hospital if these symptoms exist because during a heart attack,
the possibility of life threatening rhythms exist, which can
result in sudden loss of consciousness and death.
Heart Attack Signs from the AHA
Delaying treatment may make the difference between life and
death. Never drive yourself to the hospital if the possibility of
a heart attack exists. Doing nothing is not an option. Left
untreated, acute coronary blockages can lead to permanent
debilitating heart damage or sudden death.
Time is Muscle
In the past, patients who were having chest pain were told to go
to the nearest hospital. This is no longer the standard of care.
Patients with known coronary artery disease (hardening of the
arteries or clogged arteries), previous coronary artery bypass
surgery, previous angioplasty, or stents who are having symptoms
are at high-risk of acute heart attacks and should be transported
to the nearest hospital capable of performing urgent cardiac
catheterization, angioplasty and stents. Treatment should not be
delayed by sending a patient just to the nearest hospital that
cannot provide these specialized services.