The Warning Signs of Heart Attack Campaign
In Australia people are not recognising the Warning Signs of heart attack and are taking too long to seek appropriate medical help. This means that more people are dying or living with permanent heart damage.
The Heart Foundation recognised that more needed to be done to improve people’s knowledge and awareness of the warning signs of a heart attack and that more needed to be done to encourage people to call Triple Zero (000) when they experienced the warning signs. To achieve this important goal the Heart Foundation has developed a comprehensive campaign titled ‘ Will you recognise your heart attack?’ which aims to reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) death and disability by reducing the time it takes for patients to respond to the warning signs of a heart attack and call Triple Zero (000).
Everyone has a role to play in spreading the lifesaving messages of this campaign. Health professionals, community leaders, sporting groups, individual community members can all make a valuable contribution by learning the warning signs and sharing this information with patients, colleagues, family members and loved ones.
To save lives, the campaign will:
- seek to make sure that all Australians better recognise and respond to the warning signs of a heart attack.
- influence change to systems that contribute to patient delay.
The Warning Signs campaign targets specific population groups:
- people with existing heart disease and their families.
- men and women aged 45 years and older.
- remote Australians, with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
To date, the campaign has:
- increased awareness of the atypical and associated symptoms of a heart attack.
- increased awareness that a heart attack presents a life-threatening emergency.
- increased people’s willingness to act and call Triple Zero (000) when faced with a symptom.
- increased people’s awareness of the warning signs of heart attack and their knowledge about what to do if they, or someone they are with, has one
Visit the Heart Foundation YouTube site
Triple Zero Awareness Work Group
Triple Zero Awareness Work Group (TZAWG) is a national body that represents emergency call-taking agencies throughout Australia.
TZAWG develops and administers programs and activities to enhance community awareness of Australia’s Emergency Call Service, Triple Zero (000).
TZAWG operates as a work group under the ACMA-chaired Emergency Call Service Advisory Committee (ECSAC) and the National Emergency Communications Working Group (NECWG), and is established to help achieve the aims of these bodies in raising awareness of the Emergency Call Service.
TZAWG MISSION STATEMENT:
To ensure that all people in Australia are aware of calling Triple Zero (000) from any phone to get help in an emergency, and understand what is required of them when they make that call.
For more information on Triple Zero please visit www.triplezero.gov.au
Ambulance Service of ACT
Early identification of high risk heart attacks has been shown to have a positive effect on survival. This allows prompt, specialised hospital treatment, and the earlier this treatment is instituted, the greater the benefits. Community awareness of warning signs of heart attack is critical to ensure successful treatment. Calling an ambulance is the most efficient means of accessing the best treatment in these situations. If there is any doubt that someone is having a heart attack, the safest course of action is to call 000 quickly. The ACT Ambulance Service is committed to providing prompt management of heart attack patients, and is supportive of the latest initiative of the National Heart Foundation to raise awareness of the warning signs of heart attack.
Sadly, the lives of far too many Queenslanders are cut short by a heart attack. When it comes to getting treatment for a heart attack, every minute counts. The Heart Foundation’s Warning Signs of a Heart Attack campaign plays a vital role in raising awareness among the community about the warnings signs of a heart attack and the importance of calling Triple Zero (000) immediately.
Queensland Health is proud to collaborate with the National Heart Foundation on such a life saving initiative.
Even if the symptoms are mild, a heart attack is still an emergency. It is important to get to hospital fast and an ambulance is the fastest and safest way to travel.
Paramedics are able to provide life-saving emergency care and start early treatment for heart attack. This gives you the best chance of survival.
Those people who act quickly and get to hospital fast are more likely to recover and return to living a normal life.
Don’t worry about whether you really have a heart attack or not. If you have symptoms that could be the signs of a heart attack, call for an ambulance.
Paramedics understand the importance of getting to hospital quickly for the warning signs of heart attack. Even if it turns out that the cause of your symptoms is something else, it is better to play it safe and call for an ambulance.
Assoc Prof Tony Walker
General Manager, Regional Services Division
Ambulance Service of NSW
The Ambulance Service of NSW has lent its backing to the Heart Foundation campaign. “Many people ignore warning signs, but that delay can cost you your life,” said Broken Hill District Manager Kathy Mitchell. “All chest pains should be investigated and if it turns out to be a false alarm, then that’s the best thing that could happen,” Ms Mitchell added.
Riverina Division of General Practice & Primary Health
Chief Executive Officer of the Riverina Division of General Practice & Primary Health, Nancy Piercy, conveyed the Division’s support of the Heart Foundation’s implementation of the ‘Warning Signs’ campaign and urges people to act on its key messages. “People who have any of the signs and symptoms described in the ‘Warning Signs’ campaign need to seek emergency medical assistance, and that means calling 000 immediately” said Mrs Piercy. “Don’t wait to see your GP and don’t wait for a friend or family member to drive you to hospital, too many people in our communities lose their lives because they take too long to call 000.”
Western Australia Health
WA Health recognises that reducing the time to emergency care is crucial for those with the symptoms of a heart attack. Our Cardiovascular Health Network has developed a Model of Care for Acute Coronary Syndromes that recommends early recognition of symptoms and the need for making immediate contact with emergency medical services. Heart Foundation’s Triple zero campaign is an important resource for achieving this goal. WA Health is proud to partner with the Heart Foundation to assist in saving more lives.
Ambulance Tasmania supports this valuable campaign, and has assisted the Heart Foundation by distributing “Will you recognise your heart attack?” fridge magnets and wallet cards to patients on ambulance call-outs throughout Tasmania, regardless of whether the call-out was for heart attack warning signs or not. Our paramedics often attend members of the community who have not recognised the symptoms of a potential heart attack, and have waited too long to call for assistance. By supporting this campaign, and encouraging the community to call Triple Zero at the first sign of heart attack, paramedics are hopeful they can have a positive impact for patients.