A survey of patients who presented to hospital emergency departments in REACT communities, who were subsequently released from the emergency department, reported minimal discussion with health professionals or family about what to do in the event of heart attack symptoms prior to their admission. Few felt they knew what to do in case of an MI, even though emergency department staff generally reassured them about the appropriateness of coming in for evaluation of their symptoms (an important finding to convey to patients). About 25% of these released patients reported they were told to call their personal physician if symptoms return. Less than 10% said they were told explicitly to call EMS/9-1-1, although about half reported being told to "go to the emergency department " if symptoms returned.
Surveys of released patients also showed that, although many knew about chest pain as a symptom, few were aware of the other heart attack symptoms. Only about 55-60% were aware of thrombolytic drugs, which is about the same as the general public (61).
A REACT survey of patients admitted to a hospital with an acute cardiac diagnosis found that few talked with healthcare providers about what to do in case of MI symptoms and the need to act quickly, either prior to admission (less than 10%) or after discharge (less than 3%). However while in the hospital, approximately half were talked to about MI symptoms, and half or more were addressed about the need to get to the emergency department quickly. Over 40% were given something to read or watch about MI. Thus, most talking about MI symptoms and the need to react quickly occurred in the hospital (61).
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