The Implications of Global EHAC upon the Heart Attack Problem

The 16th Congress of the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care took place April 21-25, 2013, and highlighted heart failure and value-based purchasing. Truly, breakthrough medicine is being developed through this collaboration of evidenced-based medicine needed in this accountable health era. However, not to be forgotten was the decision made in the 2012 Congress to elevate EHAC (or Community Education) to Key Element Number One.

Along with that decision came a strategy to spread the message of EHAC ("Heart attacks have beginnings") throughout the United States with a plan to carry out this strategy and Goals along the way. Using the "power of an idea whose time has come" was to be used as the catalyst to get "buy in" power and this was to be achieved by "a voting count of deputized caretakers." Momentum coming from an increased EHAC count would signal the spreading of the message

In order to achieve viral growth of the message, a critical mass would have to be achieved. Exactly what this number is remains unknown, but it probably is in the range of 1-3 million. Can we do this? Can we get to a critical mass number? Only, time will tell. However we have come a long way towards achieving our goal and here is an outline of our success by doing the math!

Establishing the Plan.

(1) We have 740 Chest Pain Centers. We asked each hospital to have 50 of their employees become certified (deputized) in Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC). In 3 months, the EHAC count rose to 20,000.

(2) We asked 200 of the 740 Chest Pain Centers to add EHAC education to the CPR education taught to their employees. This was a promotional campaign offering 500 free deputy badges to the first 200 hospitals that came on board. The potential here is enormous. Each hospital has between 1500-2500 employees. This could result in 400,000 employees being taught. The Society's plan is to continue this "surge" and involve all of the 740 hospitals so that we could potentially reach 1.5 million employees. During this period of time,the Society expects to increase the number of Chest Pain Centers from 740 to 1000. If so, we could see 2 million EHAC Deputies.

(3) So far, we have only been talking about hospitals and hospital employees but we know that EHAC community education has already started. We recently published a new EHAC Syllabus that includes collecting a roster of the attendees that can be forwarded to the Society and we can include in the count. Furthermore, we will be requesting all of the Chest Pain Centers to designate EHAC Ambassadors who can teach the education to 500 members in their community each year for at least two years. This potentially adds another million to the total EHAC count and will bring us to about 3 million Americans.

What can this accomplish? Presently, we have about 800,000 Americans dying each year of a heart attack. We know that more than 50% of these individuals have early chest discomfort symptoms for hours to days before they get the severe chest pain that brings them into the hospital. When they have the "soft stuff discomfort," there is little peer pressure to do anything different and this allows a heart attack to be a crashing illness. What if we place 3 million Americans out there who know about this information and have pledged not to have this occur, will we reduce significantly the number of heart attack deaths in the United States? Will the army of heart attack caregivers be helpful in the war against the heart attack problem?

The Congress this year was a great one! The most amazing and awesome aspect to this individual was the "feedback" from many that in their hospitals, they have already started teaching EHAC to all of their employees This was in response to a request last year to do so when giving the EHAC Oath to the audience. My estimate is that there were more than 50,000 taught, even before we got the present program started officially!

Best of luck in saving a life!

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.