London: A podcast that could save lives is proving a huge success, sailing into the iTunes health chart top ten within 24 hours of being released.
The podcast has been produced by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as part of today’s Chest Pain Awareness Day.
It is the first of its kind by the charity and it hopes it will save lives by helping people recognise heart attack symptoms and explaining why its important to call 999 promptly.
The podcast, which was created by Daisy Media, is available to download from the charitys website www.bhf.org.uk/doubtkills– It includes a nail biting mini-drama about a man suffering a heart attack, together with interviews from real life heart attack victims, that including:
Alec Keep, who was experiencing chest pain while driving home when he saw the BHF poster showing an image of a man with a tightened belt of skin around his chest and the words a chest pain is your body saying call 999. The advert prompted Alec to call 999 when he got home and had he not done so he would have died at home alone. Also interviewed is Lola Arch, one of the paramedics who attended Alecs call out. She explains how they brought Alec back to life, and how glad they were that he called 999 so soon after suffering symptoms.
Kay McCaw, who dismissed her chest pain and was determined to get on with her day. It was a friend who encouraged her to get urgent medical help. She couldnt believe it when doctors told her she had suffered a heart attack.
The podcast also includes advice from Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the BHF, on how to recognise symptoms and why it is so important to call 999 immediately.
Professor Weissberg says: Calling 999 immediately is the only option when you have a heart attack because the second the artery blocks, which is the cause of the heart attack, heart muscle cells start to die. The longer it takes to get that artery open again, the more heart muscle will die, and therefore the more damage will be done permanently to the heart.
Another reason why you should call 999 immediately is there is a high risk of having a cardiac arrest. If you have an ambulance crew standing by with a defibrillator they can put you back into a normal rhythm, and then you can go on to hospital and be treated as normal. If theres nobody there with that expertise, then your heart will stop beating and you will die.
By far the most common symptom for a heart attack is chest pain, but sometimes it doesnt always occur in the middle of the chest. It can be in the back between the shoulder blades, sometimes it can just be in the arms, other people experience a bad pain in the jaw or the neck. The real message is that if something unpleasant is happening to you somewhere near the chest and you cant explain it then youd be wise to call 999.
Visit www.bhf.org.uk/doubtkills to download the podcast, and for more information about the campaign.
The British Heart Foundation has launched This is the podcast that really could save your life…
To find out why calling 999 immediately if you feel chest pain is so important, please download our free podcast.
Central chest pain is the most common warning sign of a heart attack – but it does not have to be excruciating to be a serious problem.
Your heart is a powerful muscular pump that drives blood around your body.
To keep your heart healthy, the heart muscle needs to get a constant supply of oxygen-containing blood from the coronary arteries.
A heart attack happens when a blood clot blocks one of the arteries around the heart and a part of the heart muscle does not get an adequate supply of blood.
This sudden lack of blood supply can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle. It can also cause an irregular heart beat and sudden death.
A heart attack can happen at any time of the day or night. It can be brought on by intense physical or emotional stress, but equally can happen out of the blue when you are resting.
Read our FAQ section for more on chest pain and heart attacks
Further information on the causes of heart attacks, diagnosis and treatment can also be found at bhf.org.uk