Lower Your Risk of a Heart Attack

What is EHAC and why do I need to know about it?

EHAC is Early Heart Attack Care and it exists to educate the public about symptoms and early detection of heart attacks.  Heart disease is the cause of 1 in 4 deaths but only 27% of people surveyed say that they are aware of all heart attack symptoms. Roughly 800,000 people die from heart attacks each year. These deaths could be reduced by 50% if symptoms of a heart attack are recognized and then treated before the heart is damaged.

What are symptoms of a heart attack?

Most people associate a heart attack with chest pressure or pain down one or both arms. These are only two of the many symptoms. Nausea; shortness of breath; back pain; anxiety; fatigue; jaw pain and feeling full are also early symptoms of a heart attack. These warning signs can begin two weeks before an actual heart attack occurs. Eighty-five percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack, so if you experience these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

How can I prevent myself from having a heart attack?

Staying healthy is a big part of heart attack prevention. Eating healthy, staying active and avoiding smoking are common ways to do this. Controlling your cholesterol, managing your blood pressure, watching your blood sugar and taking medications as they are prescribed are also great ways to prevent causes of a heart attack. Having a regular check-up can also prevent a heart attack through early detection.

What should I do if I see someone experiencing symptoms?

The quicker you get help, the better his or her chance to have a normal life after a heart attack. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 and wait with the person until they arrive. Do not drive them to the hospital unless you are unable to call for help. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is able to treat the person on the way to the hospital and have even been trained to revive people if their hearts stop.

What should I do if I’m experiencing symptoms?

Do NOT drive yourself to the hospital. Call 9-1-1 immediately and wait for the EMTs to arrive. Only drive yourself if you cannot contact the EMS and driving is the only other option. If there is any doubt that you are actually experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or if you do not want to worry family and/or friends, go to the hospital anyway. 

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