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What Is Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC)?

"EHAC is really two things. First, it is a common sense movement which recognizes that early symptoms of a heart attack occur in 50 percent of all heart attack patients and that these early clues allow time for preventive measures to take place," states Raymond D. Bahr, M.D., the physician who declared war on the heart attack problem in the U.S. and initiated the EHAC movement. "Second, it is an education process that is designed to change behavior and attitudes. It teaches that heart attacks can be prevented."

Public Awareness
The primary goal of EHAC is to promote public awareness that heart attacks have “beginnings” that can occur weeks before the actual attack. EHAC centers on intervention during these beginnings to help prevent acute myocardial infarction (MI) and cardiac arrest.

EHAC focuses on prevention through the recognition of early symptoms of heart attack. Early symptoms, such as mild chest pain or stuttering chest pain, are identified as major risk factors for heart attack. Adults too frequently ignore these warnings and put themselves at risk for significant damage to the heart muscle or even death.

Evaluation and Treatment
The second goal of EHAC is to teach the public that individuals with heart attack symptoms should be evaluated and treated in an emergency department (ED) or chest pain center (CPC), typically located within the emergency department. The ED and/or CPC is supported by diagnostic services that allow for 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.

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