Features December 2009 Issue

Better Outcomes Await If You Respond Wisely to Heart Attack Symptoms

Research shows that too many heart patients fail to make smart, fast decisions at the onset of heart attack symptoms, even if they’ve been instructed on how to react.

What would you do if you suddenly started experiencing heart attack symptoms? Would you try to drive yourself to the hospital? Would you wait to call for help? Do you even know what the symptoms are and how to interpret them? If you’re unsure how you’d react to cardiac symptoms, even though you consider yourself an informed heart patient, rest assured you’re no different than most people in your situation. A study published in the Oct. 6 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that heart patients given specific instructions to recognize and respond correctly to heart attack symptoms were no more likely to seek immediate care than those who didn’t get those specific instructions.

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