Share the EHAC Symbols to Save a Life

How important is the Good Samaritan strategy in heart attack care?  Let’s put it this way. If you could perform one action that would affect the lives of millions would that be important to you?  Of course, it would. What is this one step?   Deliver effective early care for someone who is having a heart attack.

In school we were taught:  
Good, Better, Best
And never let it rest
Until the good is better
And the better is best!
The best is what we are trying to achieve.

In a heart attack the best care is early diagnosis.  All heart attacks are not created equal and, in most cases, have beginnings. Beginnings are not recognized because the early chest symptoms are “not that bad.”  We know that “mild chest discomfort” occurs in over 50% of patients that results in a heart attack. Most of these patients come into the hospital too late to prevent the loss of heart muscle or death. 

But it does not have to be this way.  In our EHAC education, we use two badges. One says “Heart Attacks Have Beginnings.” The other one shows the buddy system with two people entering the hospital for care also known as the Good Samaritan badge.

The buddy badge is utilized to show people that they can be a Good Samaritan in the fight to end heart attacks. The Good Samaritan is with the person having early mild chest pain and stops what he is doing to challenge the individual to get these symptoms checked out. The patient needs the Good Samaritan because denial is very strong when symptoms are mild and stuttering. The Good Samaritan becomes aware that this patient is at risk for a damaging heart attack, stops what he is doing, and takes action. This image captures the critical assistance that must take place in order to save a life. It’s the two-step process – convincing the patient that he needs assistance and providing the lifesaving care.

This is why I am constantly working to spread the message, because early heart attack care can save a life. This became my mission because early in my career when I was working in a pharmacy, I recognized a friend in the store who had such early symptoms and did not act on them. Two hours later, he was found dead at his place of employment.

How can we promote this even more to accomplish this needed change of thinking when it comes to the heart attack problem in the United States? Many of our hospitals are educating their communities in the detection and prevention of a heart attack using the EHAC information you learned during the accreditation process.

One of these hospitals is University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Led by Cardiovascular Coordinator, Jennifer Weeks, they are using the Deputy Heart Attack program to educate adults and children on how to see the early signs of a heart attack. In their education, they are also using 1,000 of the EHAC badges to promote both the heart attack beginnings and the Good Samaritan role. “This education will open the door for families to start talking about heart attack risks and early warning signs, which can lead to early detection,” said Cardiovascular Coordinator Jennifer Weeks.

How can you use this information in your education programs?

The Society has created all of this information and education so please help us spread the message so we can continue to achieve the best!
Respectfully, Raymond D.Bahr MD.

Dr. Raymond Bahr's Articles & Videos

Dr. Raymond Bahr writes articles about the EHAC movement. He has also done several videos that outline the importance of Early Heart Attack Care.

Meet the Deputy Heart Attack Founder

Dr. Raymond Bahr

Dr. Raymond Bahr is passionate about cardiac care and preventive education. As the founding father of the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (now ACC Accreditation Services), his passion to disseminate lifesaving information is a driving force behind the Deputy Heart Attack Program. Throughout his career, he has created multiple programs to help others understand the life saving measures that can save a life. In 1981 at St. Agnes Hospital, Dr. Bahr established the Chest Pain Emergency Department (CPED), the first such unit in the world. The initial purpose of this CPED was prompt and effective treatment of patients presenting with heart attack/sudden death. The CPED was coupled with an aggressive education program that taught the community the early warning signs of a heart attack. This education program extended to middle and high school students via health and science curricula.