Only one in ten people (14%) call 999 within an hour of experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack.
The statistic has been released as British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland joins forces with the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Lisburn City Council and the Health Minister to launch a heart attack awareness campaign in the Lisburn and Downpatrick areas.
This is just one of a number of startling statistics from a heart attack awareness audit carried out by the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. These statistics were collected from patients who were admitted with a heart attack between May and August 2013 to both Lagan Valley and Downpatrick hospitals.
Worryingly the audit outlines that only 12% of people admitted to the Coronary Care Units with a heart attack during the audit period stated their first call for assistance was 999 with over 50% calling or presenting to their local A&E.
The lives of too many families are shattered by heart attacks; we hope to help change that with this campaign.
Our Chief Executive Simon Gillespie said: “This survey shows that people still do not understand why it is so vital to call 999 at the very first sign of a possible heart attack. Every second counts when you are having a heart attack and calling the emergency services immediately means you are much more likely to survive.
“The lives of too many families are shattered by heart attacks; we hope to help change that with this campaign.”
Learn more about what a heart attack is and how to recognise the symptoms.