Study: Women call 911 for men with heart attacks, but not for themselves

New research shows that while women call for help when their husbands, brothers and fathers suffer heart attacks, they do not properly act on their own


By EMS1 Staff

MALAGA, Spain — New research found that while women call 911 when the men in their lives suffer heart attacks, they are not reaching out when they suffer symptoms of their own.

According to Science Daily, research presented at the Acute Cardiovascular Care congress by the Polish Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes found that women are not calling for help for their own heart attacks like they are for their husbands, brothers and fathers.

The researchers called upon women to make sure and take care of themselves, too.

“Very often women run the house, send children to school, and prepare for family celebrations,” principal investigator Mariusz Gasior said. “We hear over and over again that these responsibilities delay women from calling an ambulance if they experience symptoms of a heart attack.”

Registry coordinator Marek Gierlotka agreed.

“In addition to running the household, women make sure that male relatives receive urgent medical help when needed. It is time for women to take care of themselves, too,” he said.

The study looked at 7,582 STEMI patients and found that 45 percent of them were treated within 90 minutes, but most of them were men.

“One of the reasons women are less likely than men to be treated within the recommended time period is because they take longer to call an ambulance when they have symptoms – this is especially true for younger women,” Gasior said. “In addition, ECG results for younger women are less often sent to the heart attack center, which is recommended to speed up treatment”

Researchers added more steps need to be taken to ensure women, especially young women, are made aware that a heart attack is possible.

“Greater awareness should be promoted among medical staff and the general public that women, even young women, also have heart attacks,” Gierlotka said. “Women are more likely to have atypical signs and symptoms, which may contribute to a delay in calling for medical assistance.”
 

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