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heart attack signsPlanning is key to surviving a heart attack. Time is of the essence. According to statistics, Patient delay rather than transport or hospital delay is the biggest cause of not getting rapid care for heart attacks.

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Planning Ahead For A Heart Attack
Testing Yourself

It is very important to create a plan now to know what to do if heart attack should happen. Doing so will save time and could help save a life. Remember, delaying treatment for heart attacks may result in death or permanent heart damage.

To plan ahead:

  1. Learn the Heart Attack Warning Signs.
  2. Think through what you would do if you had heart attack symptoms. Decide what you would do if it happened while you were at home, in the middle of the night, at work, or at any other place or in any other situation that might need advance planning.
  3. Decide who would care for any dependents in an emergency. Emergency medical personnel will generally contact a friend or relative (or the police department, if necessary) to make emergency arrangements for your dependents.
  4. Talk with your family and friends about the heart attack warning signs and the importance of acting fast by calling 9-1-1 after a few minutes, 5 at the most, if those signs persist. Explain the benefits of calling 9-1-1, instead of getting to the hospital by car.
  5. Talk to your health care provider about your heart attack risk and what you can do to reduce it. (Rate your chances of having a heart attack.)
  6. Talk to your doctor about what you should do if you experience any heart attack symptoms.
  7. Gather important information to take along with you to the hospital. Do this by preparing a heart attack survival plan. Fill in the form, print it out, and keep copies in handy places, such as your wallet or purse.
  8. If you are concerned about your insurance coverage, call your insurance company and check on your benefits. Most insurance companies cover emergency care for a possible heart attack.


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