Don’t Die of Doubt: New heart health campaign urges you not to ignore dangerous symptoms

Hospitals are seeing fewer heart attack and stroke patients but that doesn’t necessarily correlate with fewer people who need care.

During the summer, emergency room visits were down 42% when compared to the same time period last year.

The American Heart Association is trying to raise awareness and has started a new campaign called Don’t Die of Doubt. Hospital CEOs across Northeast Florida are calling on people to not ignore dangerous symptoms that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Heart disease is still the number one killer of both men and women, and there are some symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

Ansley Lee, the vice president of Health Strategies with the AHA, said the message is clear.

“The purpose of ‘Don’t Die of Doubt’ is that heart and stroke symptoms are also urgent and the hospital is always the safest place to go, so if you’re experiencing these symptoms don’t hesitate to call 911 and don’t stay at home," Lee said. “Heart attacks and strokes don’t stay at home so you shouldn’t either. Don’t avoid the ER out of anxiety. Simply, don’t die of doubt.”

There are certain symptoms that should trigger a call to 911.

Heart attack symptoms:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • A cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Stroke symptoms: Use the acronym FAST

  • Face drooping on one side or numb
  • Arm weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Time to call 911

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