Heart attack warnings go unnoticed
Most heart attack victims wait two or more hours after symptom onset before seeking medical help, often because they do not realize they're having a heart attack.
According to a new Harris survey, many U.S. adults lack knowledge about heart attack warning signs beyond the so-called "Hollywood Heart Attack." That knowledge gap and the “wait and see” approach, may be factors in heart disease being the number one killer of Americans.
**The survey says only 40% of U.S. adults would seek medical attention if they experienced some common, "non-Hollywood" heart attack symptoms (sickness to the stomach, lightheadedness, and pain or soreness in the arm, back or neck) for several minutes. The majority (59%) would wait and see if the symptoms passed, while only 14% would call 9-1-1.
**While 85% of U.S. adults recognized chest discomfort as a heart attack warning sign, significantly fewer adults are aware that discomfort in the neck (36%), back (32%), jaw (30%) or stomach (23%) are also symptoms of a heart attack.
**Less than half of U.S. adults (48%) realize that a heart attack can be stopped once it has begun.
"Tragically, many patients, expecting to experience sudden, crushing chest pain, don't recognize the less dramatic symptoms of a heart attack, don't seek prompt treatment and, therefore, don't receive powerful life-saving therapies in time. It is essential that Americans become familiar with all of the heart attack warning signs, because every second counts when it comes to a heart attack."
The ACT IN TIME campaign, a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute education campaign has now begun. Check it out. It's short, concise, and very important.