A new study carried out by medical researchers revealed that many people ignore or accidentally miss the warning signs of cardiac arrests.
According to the researchers, these symptoms sometimes appear weeks or even months before people feel the full effects of this condition, Mohave Daily News reported.
For the study, the researchers interviewed middle-aged individuals who experienced cardiac arrests. Many of them noted that they felt symptoms such as chest pains and shortness of breath around a month before actually suffering from this condition.
According to the researchers, paying attention to these signs could be fatal as detecting a cardiac arrest early on can enable medical professionals to carry out the necessary procedures to prevent it from happening. However, its warning signs are often ignored by people especially those who are at risk of suffering from a cardiac arrest.
"By the time the 911 call is made, it's much too late for at least 90 percent of people," Dr. Sumeet Chugh, the lead author of the study said according to Daily Journal. "There's this window of opportunity that we really didn't know existed."
Previously, it was believed that cardiac arrests happen unexpectedly. This is why this heart condition has a high death rate in the U.S. According to reports, around 350,000 people in the country die each year due to cardiac arrests.
But according to the researchers, through this study, the public will hopefully become more aware about their general health conditions. Specifically, they should not ignore the symptoms of cardiac arrests and seek medical assistance immediately once they feel them.
In fact, based on the results of the study, the survival rate of people who call 911 immediately after feeling the symptoms of cardiac arrests is at 32 percent. Those who ignored these signs and didn't seek medical assistance, on the other hand, is only at 6 percent. Many of those who died had their cardiac arrests before reaching the hospital while they were still inside the ambulance.
"In the past, we have believed that sudden cardiac arrest is an unexpected event with very little warning and almost no time to intervene," Dr. Chugh said in a statement according to Business Recorder. "This opens a new window of opportunity for prediction and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, and for many patients we may have time to intervene that we realized."
The study conducted by the researchers was published on December 22 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.