All that may stand between a heart attack and death is the quick response time by emergency services.
Which is why Dubai Police are urging all heart patients to register with its operations room.
The number of cardiac patients registered with Dubai Police’s operations room has risen from 950 in 2007, to 1,253 in 2011.
Brigadier Omar Al Shamsi, director of the Dubai Police operations room, said the number of deaths had fallen 40 per cent from 30 in 2007 to 18 in 2011 as a result of quick response to calls from victims of first heart attack.
Dubai Police launched the registration program for heart patients in 2007 in cooperation with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services.
“The rate of mortality of heart patients registered with Dubai Police operations room is 2.9 per cent of the total number of patients, which is close to half the 5 per cent rate set by the World Health Organisation,” Al Shamsi said.
The life of the patient who suffers a heart attack depends on the measures taken within the first hour of the attack, he said.
“The first hour of the heart attack is called the ‘golden hour’ since the patent’s chances of returning to fully normal life depends on success in helping him during this time,” he added.
During the first five minutes of the first hour of the attack, the patient suffers from severe pain, sweating and shortness of breath.
It takes one minute to make a ‘999’ call to the police operations room, and eight minutes for the ambulance to arrive at the patient’s address recorded in the directory of the operations room.
It would take 16 minutes to reach the hospital and admit him and a further 30 minutes for medical treatment, he said.
Brigadier Al Shamsi said the cardiac patients registration programme saves the lives of many people.
The cost of resuscitating a patient within the first 60 minutes of the heart attack is Dh16,315 which will rise to Dh28,635 if first aid is delayed.
Al Shamsi said the case will become complicated and the heart of the patient might be damaged if he does not get first aid within the first hour of the crisis.
All cardiac patients can call 901 to register their names, telephone numbers and addresses in the programme.
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