When it Comes to Heart Attacks & Strokes: COVID-19 Fear Can Be Fatal
Cardiovascular disease does not stop for COVID-19. If you, or a loved one, experience symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, do not delay care. When it comes to saving your life, seconds still count.
- During a heart attack or stroke, every second ticking by impacts your chance of survival. Delaying diagnosis and treatment means you’re at greater risk of complications – or even death.
- During a heart attack, just 90 minutes is the window of time to receive treatment for the best possible outcome (AHA)
- Arriving to the hospital early (within 6 hours) of ischemic stroke is key to a favorable outcome (AHA)
- Cardiovascular disease does not stop for COVID-19. While Americans should practice social distancing to avoid COVID-19, people need to know heart disease is still the #1 killer of Americans – and it’s not hiding in quarantine.
- Hospitals are equipped to treat COVID-19 AND other life-threatening health emergencies. Delaying care for emergencies can be a bigger threat to American’s health than the virus itself.
Know the Common Symptoms of a Heart Attack or Stroke
Don’t Wait. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 or go to the hospital as soon as possible. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, as these could be signs of heart attack or stroke:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath with chest discomfort
- Face drooping
- Speech difficulty
Cardiac Care During COVID-19: 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Cardiovascular disease is not under self-isolation. Those who have chronic illnesses, particularly cardiovascular disease, should continue to regularly communicate with their physician including regular check-ups and ongoing monitoring of symptoms.
- What precautions are hospitals/doctor offices taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- What are the best ways to prepare for my doctor appointment?
- How do I handle my regularly scheduled annual EKG appointment?
- Is telemedicine an option for some appointments?
- What other ongoing monitoring options are available to me?
Seconds Count Survey Highlights
New research shows fear of COVID-19 is stopping people from seeking care during medical emergencies, like heart attacks or strokes.
- As States start to re-open, more than one-third of Americans (36 percent) consider going to the hospital to be one of the riskiest behaviors to take part in compared to going to a hair salon (27 percent) or going to the beach (16 percent)
- 61 percent of respondents think they are either somewhat likely or very likely to acquire COVID-19 in a hospital
- Half of respondents are more afraid of contracting COVID-19 than experiencing a heart attack or stroke
- Nearly 60 percent of respondents are more afraid of a family member or loved one contracting COVID-19 than experiencing a heart attack or stroke
- When asked which are you more afraid of, contracting COVID-19, experiencing a heart attack or experiencing a stroke – twice as many people over the age of 60 are more afraid of contracting COVID-19 (52 percent) than they are of experiencing a heart attack (23 percent) or stroke (25 percent)
Hospitals Are Here to Care for You No Matter What
Hospitals are ready to handle medical emergencies and have procedures in place to keep both patients and healthcare workers safe from COVID-19. Fear of contracting COVID-19 should not stop you from going to the hospital ER. Hospitals are a safe place.
- Hospitals have processes and safety measures in place to keep you separate from COVID-19 patients, including:
- Checking temperatures
- Requiring masks
- Limiting number of visitors
- Practicing social distancing in waiting rooms
SCAI acknowledges and thanks Medtronic and Boston Scientific for their support of the Seconds Still Count campaign