Monday, February 06, 2006

Latest roadway hazard - heart attacks

Seven per cent of men having a heart attack drove themselves to hospital and only 60 per cent went by ambulance, according to research published in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

The study, which looked at 890 heart attack patients admitted to six major teaching hospitals in Dublin, Southern Ireland, also found that it took women five times as long as men to go to casualty departments after their symptoms first started. But only one per cent got behind the wheel and drove to the hospital.

“People who drove themselves to the hospital said they did it because it was the quickest way to get to the hospital, they felt well enough to make the journey and they would have pulled over if necessary.

“However, many also reported that they felt they were going to collapse when they arrived in the casualty department.The average time it took women to get to hospital after the onset of initial symptoms was 14 hours, compared with 2.8 hours for men.

Only 63 per cent of women and 60 per cent of men travelled by ambulance. Many said they were too embarrassed to go in an ambulance or that they should be used for more urgent cases.

Seven per cent of men and one per cent of women drove themselves to the hospital and a further four per cent of men and three per cent of women used public transport. 33 per cent of women and 29 per cent of men were driven to the hospital.

“Women need to be much more aware of the risks they face from heart attacks and the importance of seeking prompt treatment.”

As mentioned in a previous post, 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. Remember:

The longer an artery is blocked and the blood supply is cut off, the more heart muscle will die and be replaced by scar tissue. Depending on the extent of heart muscle damage, a heart attack can be deadly or disabling.

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