Heart Care Services: Early Heart Attack Care

What is EHAC?

EHAC—or, Early Heart Attack Care—is a public awareness campaign designed to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack, which can occur days or weeks before the actual event. These early symptoms need to be recognized and treated early to avoid the damage caused by a full-blown heart attack.

If you suspect you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Seek medical help before your heart is damaged.

Heart Attacks Have Beginnings

The primary goal of Early Heart Attack Care is to promote awareness that heart attacks have "beginnings" that can occur weeks before the actual attack. These “beginnings” occur in more than 50% of patients. However, if recognized in time, these “beginnings” can be treated before the heart is damaged.

Early symptoms of heart attacks, such as mild or stuttering chest pain, are identified as major risk factors for heart attack. Adults often ignore these warnings and put themselves at risk for significant damage to the heart muscle, or even death. EHAC focuses on intervention during these beginnings to help prevent acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and cardiac arrest.

The second goal of Early Heart Attack Care is to teach the public that individuals with heart attack symptoms should be evaluated and treated in an emergency department or chest pain center. Experts there are trained in the rapid evaluation of patients, bringing together ED physicians, nurses, cardiologists, and technicians who work as a team to establish a comprehensive management plan for patients with chest pain.

Early Heart Attack Symptoms

People may or may not experience any or all of the these symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of fullness

Also, people may experience mild chest symptoms, such as pressure, burning, aching or tightness. These symptoms may come and go until finally becoming constant and severe.

Early Heart Attack Care Oath

Join the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care in the battle to defeat heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide by taking the EHAC Oath:

"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."

Help keep yourself, your family and community healthy by taking the EHAC Oath.