One in eight people having a heart attack wait 24 hours before going to hospital and a quarter wouldn’t call and ambulance for a heart attack.
“These findings are very concerning given that an Australian dies of a heart attack every 53 minutes and half of all heart attack deaths happen before the person reaches hospital,” said Dr Lyn Roberts, National CEO of the Heart Foundation.
“If you think you could be having a heart attack, call Triple Zero (000) immediately, because the longer you wait, the more your heart muscle dies.
“People who are treated within an hour of their first heart attack symptom have the greatest chance of not only surviving their heart attack, but continuing to enjoy a good quality of life.
“It’s always OK to call Triple Zero if you experience heart attack warning signs and if it turns out to be a false alarm then that’s the best thing that could happen,” Dr Roberts said.
The Heart Foundation is urging all Australians to learn the warning signs of heart attack during Heart Week (5-11 May 2013) at heartattackfacts.org.au
“Heart attack warning signs aren’t always what you think – symptoms are not necessarily sudden or severe and some people don’t experience chest pain at all.
“Learning the warning signs could save your life, or the life of a loved one – download or order your free action plan today or call our Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87,” she added.
Heart attack warning signs may include pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness in one or more parts of the upper body (chest, neck, jaw, arm(s), shoulder(s) or back) in combination with other symptoms of nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness or a cold sweat.