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Speedy Heart Attack Treatment Makes Big Difference

separator A new study emphasizes the need for people to call 9-1-1 immediately if they have chest pain that becomes worse and lasts more than 5 minutes. When this occurs, you could be having a heart attack, and the sooner you get treatment, the better chances you have not only of surviving, but of having a higher quality of life. If you experience nausea or lightheadedness with the chest pain, the chances that you’re having a heart attack are even higher.

With every minute that you don’t get treatment for a heart attack, the heart muscle becomes more damaged. Patients often wait for up to two hours, because they think they might be experiencing indigestion, and they’re afraid they’ll be embarrassed if they go to the hospital for something like that. Women, in particular, tend to wait longer before calling 9-1-1.

The message is: chest pain can mean you’re having a heart attack. Don’t wait around to find out. Call for help right away to minimize damage to your heart.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 21 July 2004.
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