American College of Cardiology Collaborates with the Arkansas STEMI Advisory Council Working to Save Lives by Offering Early Heart Attack Care Educational Materials in Marshallese

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The materials, which were previously only available in English and Spanish, provide this underserved, high-risk population with easily accessible information to help them recognize the early signs and symptoms of heart attacks, and know-how and when to seek care.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men worldwide; however, in many cases, heart disease, including heart attacks, are preventable.

“When a heart attack occurs, every second matters. The EHAC materials are important tools in educating Arkansans on the early signs of a heart attack and to dial 911 if they experience symptoms,” said Aravind Rao, MD, MPH, chair of the STAC. “We appreciate the ACC developing these tools to reach diverse populations in the state. By partnering with them, we will be able to reach our goal to improve heart attack care for the citizens of Arkansas.”

EHAC is a public awareness campaign to educate the public about the signs of an impending heart attack, including that heart attack symptoms can occur days or weeks before the actual event. By recognizing and treating heart attack symptoms early, patients can avoid potential damage caused by a full-blown heart attack. Early symptoms can include chest pressure, shortness of breath, weakness and others.

“Many people do not realize that, like cancer and diabetes, heart attacks have early signs and symptoms,” said Jenn Cash, ACC EHAC education outreach coordinator. “The ACC and the Arkansas STEMI Advisory Council share the same goal—to save more lives and reduce the mortality rate of cardiovascular disease. Creating and sharing these free materials with the Marshallese population in Arkansas allows us to expand our outreach at a critical time.”

Heart attack prevention is especially timely during the COVID-19 pandemic, as its been widely reported that heart attack patients are avoiding the ER due to fear of being exposed to the virus. The ACC, through its CardioSmart initiative, began an educational campaign in April to encourage patients to call 911 if they thought they were having a heart attack and to reassure them that proper protocols are in place to keep them safe in the emergency room.

Moving forward, the ACC and the STAC will continue their collaboration in making educational materials available and monitor cardiovascular trends within the NCDR Chest Pain MI Registry.

Marshallese EHAC materials will be available via free download and hospitals can request free printed materials. For more information visit healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/stemi-advisory-council-stac or deputyheartattack.acc.org.

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