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Signs of heart attack ignored

20th November 2006

17082006_ambulanceinside1.jpgThousands of lives could be saved if people called emergency services at the first sign of a heart attack.

Around 250,000 people have heart attacks each year in the UK and a third will die before reaching hospital. But many of these deaths could be avoided if people reacted to the early warning signs more quickly.

The warning comes as the British Heart Foundation (BHF) reveals more than a third of people would choose to ‘wait and see’ before dialling 999.

A study by the foundation found two-thirds of the 2,500 people questioned for the YouGov poll said they would call a partner, friend, relative, GP or NHS direct before calling for paramedics.

But experts say every second counts when it comes to surviving a heart attack and are urging anyone experiencing chest pain, the main symptom of a heart attack, to call for an ambulance straight away. And the BHF has launched a poster campaign supporting the message.

Ambulance services have supported the message, saying they would rather be called out to a false alarm than be too late.

Evidence shows that people experiencing heart attack symptoms wait an average of 90 minutes before an ambulance is called.


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