Early Heart Attack Care with UnityPoint - Cedar Rapids

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Early heart attack care (EHAC)

EHAC is an acronym for Early Heart Attack Care and teaches about the 'soft symptoms' of a heart attack; it alerts the public that heart attacks have beginnings and that treating chest pressure early, before it becomes the severe, crushing chest pain of a heart attack, is what is important. St. Luke's supports the educational mission of EHAC.

Early heart attack symptoms

Not every heart attack displays the same symptoms. In fact, many people ignore the early signs of a heart attack. Unfortunately, when these early signs are ignored, we miss a "window of opportunity" to prevent the attack before any heart damage can occur. The following signs and symptoms are ones to be aware of in yourself or in your family members:
  • Shortness of breath without exertion
  • Heartburn or burning in the chest
  • Discomfort or pain
  • Anxiety or a feeling of impending doom

Take action to prevent a heart attack

Visit the Deputy Attack website, which provides step by step early heart attack education and deputizes people into action by providing a certificate and a badge after taking a 15 minute course.

Take the EHAC oath and commit to taking action.

"I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain, and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack.

I solemnly swear that if it happens to me or anyone I know, I will call 9-1-1 or activate our Emergency Medical Services."

Learn more online at the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

Unlike most programs that promote recognition of the signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack, the EHAC initiative encourages early recognition when symptoms may be mild. For the 50 percent of people experiencing these symptoms, the heart attack can be prevented with early treatment -- BEFORE any damage to the heart can occur.