Heart attack victims 'fail to call 999 first'

MORE than 40 per cent of Scots would not call 999 first if they thought they were having a heart attack, a survey revealed today.

Scots have the highest death rates from heart disease in the UK, but are the least likely to dial 999 if they were alone and started having chest pains - the main symptom of an attack.

The YouGov poll found people would call their partner, a friend or relative, their GP or NHS 24 first. Eighty five per cent said doubt about the seriousness of the situation would be their reason for not calling 999 first, while 37 per cent would wait and see if the pain improved.

The findings were revealed on the day the British Heart Foundation (BHF) launched its Doubt Kills campaign, which urges people not to delay calling 999 if they start having chest pains.

Professor Peter Weissberg, the organisation's medical director, said: "Maybe this is down to our natural reserve and stoicism, but it is costing lives. Every second counts when you are having a heart attack, and the quicker you call 999 the greater your chances of survival."

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