Narrator: This is Science Today. Previous studies have shown that when symptoms of a heart attack strike, people delay seeking treatment. But the longer one delays, the more damage to the heart muscle. Kathleen Dracup of the University of California, San Francisco's School of Nursing, says unfortunately only twenty-five percent of heart attack patients receive treatment within the first two hours.
Dracup: So the challenge for us as health professionals is trying to help people be sensitive to their cardiac symptoms and know what to do right away so that they don't delay - they don't spend their time doing other things - self treatment, taking Maalox, trying to call their doctor, which is not the right thing to do.
Narrator: Dracup says it's equally important that families understand what to do as well.
Hinshaw: What we found they hope, like the patient, that this isn't anything. And yet, the reality is - if it is a heart attack, the best thing to do would be to come immediately.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.