Don’t Die of Doubt™ – Call 9-1-1 Right Away!

With the pandemic, many people are concerned with seeking emergency care at the hospital, but staying home could be deadly. As hospitals, communities and governments worldwide struggle to understand the COVID-19 pandemic, data shows an alarming reduction in the number of heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrests being reported as well as reductions in 9-1-1 calls and ER visits.

Even in the midst of COVID-19, certain emergency heart and stroke symptoms require immediate medical intervention. In these cases, every second counts and hospitals are the safest place to be. People aren’t sure about calling 9-1-1 or turning up at the hospital, but experts say calling 9-1-1 is still the best way to access life-saving treatments if they’re experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms.

The Hospital Is the Safest Place to Be

Heart attack and stroke are medical emergencies and people should not avoid the ER out of anxiety or fear of being exposed to COVID-19. In response to this alarming trend, the American Heart Association, with the local support of Manatee Memorial Hospital and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, has created a new public awareness campaign called Don’t Die of Doubt™ to remind people that the safest place to receive treatment when experiencing signs and symptoms of a heart attack and stroke – when seconds count – is the hospital.

For people with underlying heart issues, the concerns are serious. It appears people over 65 with coronary heart disease or hypertension are more likely to be infected and to develop more severe symptoms. Calling 9-1-1 at the first signs of a heart attack, stroke, or cardiac arrest could be a lifesaving decision. Reducing the time between symptom onset and medical treatment drastically improves the chances of surviving a cardiovascular event. Emergency responders have the equipment and training to initiate treatment and monitor a patient’s condition and calling 9-1-1 is the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.

Home is meant to be our safe place, but heart attacks and strokes don’t stay home. Don’t avoid the ER out of anxiety. Don’t die of doubt. Don’t stay silent and don’t stay home. The American Heart Association mission – to be a relentless force for a world of healthier, longer lives – is more important than ever. People with cardiovascular diseases are more likely to be seriously impacted by COVID-19 than others, too. If you experience the symptoms of heart attack or stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.