Embargoed 7 Oct:40% Newcastle/hunter Residents Wouldn't Act On Heart Attack Sign

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5th October 2010, 12:31pm - Views: 825

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Embargoed until 00.01 Thursday 7 October 2010

Will you recognise your heart attack?

Heart Foundation survey reveals almost 40% of residents in Newcastle and the

Hunter would not act on key heart attack warning signs

Almost 40% of people in Newcastle and the Hunter would not act on key heart attack

symptoms unless they included severe chest pain, according to new Heart

Foundation research.

The study is being released ahead of the launch of a hard-hitting Heart Foundation

advertising campaign aimed at helping local residents recognise the warning signs of

heart attack and the importance of calling Triple Zero (000) fast. 

Heart attacks claim around 4,000 lives in New South Wales every year and

worryingly, more than half of heart attack deaths occur before people reach hospital.

The Heart Foundation survey of local residents aged 30-65 found that:


39% would wait and see what happens before acting on their symptoms

unless they included severe chest pain


68% are unaware of heart attack symptoms other than chest pain, arm pain

and shortness of breath


49% would not know what to do if they were having a heart attack


24% would wait to make sure they were having a heart attack before calling an


“Heart attack warning signs aren’t always what you think - symptoms are not

necessarily sudden or severe and some people don’t experience chest pain at all,”

said Tony Thirlwell, Heart Foundation CEO – NSW. 

“Knowing the warning signs and what to do in the event of a heart attack could save

your life or the life of a loved one.

“The one thing that doesn’t vary is the need for quick action and treatment starts the

second you call triple zero,” Mr Thirlwell added.

“It is important that people don’t delay action when they experience the warning signs

of a heart attack. If blood flow to the heart is restricted, the heart muscle begins to die

and after two hours that damage may be irreversible,” said Peter Fletcher, Director of

Cardiology at John Hunter Hospital.

The Ambulance Service of NSW fully supports the Heart Foundation campaign.

“Many people ignore warning signs, but that delay can cost you your life,“ said Allan

Loudfoot, General Manager Clinical Services. “Our paramedics would rather attend to

a false alarm than arrive too late to save a life,” he added.

Warning Signs of Heart Attack:

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Heart attack warning signs may include pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness in one

or more parts of the upper body (chest, neck, jaw, arm(s), shoulder(s) or back) in

combination with other symptoms of nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness or a cold


For important information on recognising the warning signs of heart attack and to

Foundation’s Health Information Service on 1300 36 27 87.


Media Contact: Kerry Kalcher, 02 9219 2433 / 0401 672 128

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