10 Reasons to Call 911 When Showing Signs of a Heart Attack

Thousands of people die or are left disabled after a heart attack due to not getting life-saving treatment, according to the American Heart Association. Don't be one of those thousands; the AHA shares 10 reasons why you should call 911 when you or someone near you is having a heart attack.

business man having a heart attackThousands of people around the country die or are left disabled after a heart attack, cardiac arrest, or stroke because they do not get lifesaving treatment in time. The American Heart Association works with local emergency medical professionals to ensure the newest and most effective treatments are being used when it comes to cardiac emergencies.

“Emergency medical professionals including 911 operators, paramedics, and emergency department personal work hard to shave minutes off the time it takes to provide proper medical care to heart attack or stroke victims in order to save lives and reduce permanent disability,” said Paul E. Harnick, MD, FACC, cardiologist at Cardiovascular Medical Associates, PC and vice president of the American Heart Association’s Long Island Board of Directors, “Calling 911 when you or someone else is experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms is the first step to activate the system. In other words, you are the first, most important link in the chain of survival.”

Here are the American Heart Association’s 10 reasons why you should call 911 first and fast if you or someone nearby is experiencing heart attack symptoms.

  1. A Heart attack is a life or death emergency.
  2. Every second wasted can damage heart muscle permanently.
  3. Timely treatment can mean the difference between returning to work and a productive life, or being permanently disabled.
  4. The sooner you get to the emergency room the sooner treatment can begin, lowering the chances of permanent heart muscle damage.
  5. Failing to get emergency care within an hour can result in permanent heart damage.
  6. 911 operators can provide instructions that can help save your life.
  7. EMS providers can monitor your vital signs and transmit them to the hospital so they are ready for your specific case when you arrive.
  8. EMS will begin case-specific treatment immediately, increasing your chances of survival.
  9. EMS will take you quickly and directly to the nearest hospital that can provide specialized care.
  10. If you drive, you could injure yourself or others if your symptoms worsen while driving.

“About 40% of the 1.1 million heart attacks that occur annually in the U.S. are fatal—don’t be one of them. Don’t be embarrassed,” Dr. Harnick said. “First responders, EMS staff, and emergency room medical professionals are prepared and ready and willing to help. They can’t help if they don’t get the call.”

The AHA recommends that everyone learn the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke. And if you or someone near you is experiencing the symptoms, don’t delay, call right away. Call 911 first and fast. Learn more at heart.org/warningsigns.

Also see:

The Heart- Healthy Diet

Suriving Heart Attack Season

7 Winter Safety Tips from the AHA