CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE REMAINS the #1 killer of all Americans. Last year, over 4,700 Dallas residents died from cardiovascular disease, of which up to 80% continues to be largely preventable. Approximately 30 people every day experienced a heart attack in Dallas County alone. Recognizing these alarming trends, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas partnered to create and implement a best-in-class system of coordinated care for a patient who is experiencing a heart attack, with a simple purpose–to save lives.
Over the course of two years, a team of experts accomplished significant, measurable success in decreasing the time between a patient’s initial experience of heart attack symptoms and lifesaving cardiac treatment. It has been said that Dallas County is now one of the safest and most responsive places to fall victim to a heart attack. But that's true only if the patient calls 911. Research shows if the 911 system is not activated, the patient will not have the opportunity for optimal care and thus dramatically decreases their chance of survival and quality of life. Alarmingly, only 40% of people who are experiencing a cardiac emergency activate 911. That must change in order to save lives.
In January, the AHA launched a multimedia campaign titled “Don’t Die of Doubt” to encourage Dallasites to trust 911. This dramatic campaign stresses that care begins the moment you call 911, which is absolutely the right thing to do regardless of the doubt someone may have.
This type of behavioral change will not be easy, but with continuous support from the media, community advocates and volunteers, we know that lives will be saved in our community. Please tell your friends to dial 911 immediately upon recognition of the signs of a heart attack—it can truly be the difference between life and death.
To learn more about why minutes matter, go to www.DontDieofDoubt.com.