important information to know about heart attacks ii

Last time, our blog began providing some basic background information on the risks posed by heart attacks, a condition the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says strikes an estimated 715,000 Americans each year.

In today’s post, we’ll continue to examine this important topic, including why it’s so important to secure immediate treatment if you believe that you are having a heart attack and why people sometimes delay taking this seemingly simple step.

Why it’s so important to secure timely treatment

According to medical experts, those experiencing any of the symptoms outlined in our first post must resist the temptation to wait for their symptoms to abate, as early recognition and treatment of a heart attack can greatly decrease the risk of damage.

Indeed, they indicate that there is a very limited timeframe — typically one hour — in which to treat a heart attack before a patient can start suffering substantial and permanent cardiac damage.

Providing treatment during this window becomes all the more vital if the heart attack affects a large area of the heart, say experts, as the prospect of making a full recovery becomes even slimmer in these scenarios.

Why people neglect to call 911 for help

The unfortunate reality is that people who experience heart attack-related symptoms frequently choose to delay seeking treatment — sometimes for longer than seven hours.

Why then do people delay seeking treatment for a possible heart attack?

  • They may be in denial and try to wait for the symptoms to subside.
  • They may attempt to first seek the advice of family and friends.
  • They may not recognize the symptoms, or attribute them to a preexisting condition.
  • They may not believe they could suffer a heart attack by virtue of their age and/or general health.
  • They may not want to cause people unnecessary worry or feel as if they should bother medical professionals.

Why it’s so imperative to call 911 if you have heart attack-related symptoms

Experts indicate that many people experiencing heart attack-related symptoms will have a friend or family member drive them to the hospital rather than calling for an ambulance. For the reasons outlined above, this is a critical mistake, as it will result in the loss of valuable time. Furthermore, they point out that emergency responders have specialized training and equipment, and will help ensure you receive treatment faster.

If you believe that the misdiagnosis of a heart attack resulted in substantial harm or even the loss of your loved one, consider speaking with an experienced and dedicated attorney to learn more about your rights and your options for pursuing justice.

Source: The Cleveland Clinic, “What are the symptoms of a heart attack?” Accessed September 22, 2014

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