Make the right call – call 111 for heart attack warning signs

The Heart Foundation is urging New Zealanders to recognise the warning signs of a possible heart attack and call 111 to save lives and prevent long term heart damage.

Heart Attack Awareness Campaign Banner

“If someone is short of breath, feeling off colour, fatigued and has a sore arm, chest or upper back, they may shrug it off or try to push through it. The warning signs are sometimes subtle,” says Heart Foundation Medical Director Dr Gerry Devlin.

The Heart Foundation launches a new public awareness campaign this week featuring television advertisements which highlight the warning signs of a heart attack and address the ‘She’ll be right’ approach that New Zealanders are renowned for when it comes to their health.

“We don’t want to make a fuss, or we’re too busy looking after others than looking after ourselves are attitudes we hear often,” Gerry says.

“One busy Mum was unknowingly having a heart attack, however she was in the middle of the ‘school run’ so she pushed through it.”

Gerry says heart attacks can happen to anyone at any time of their life.

The symptoms of a heart attack for women can also be different to men with women presenting with more sweating, dizziness and nausea than men.

He says acting quickly and making the right call - calling 111 - will help save lives and prevent further heart damage.

The Heart Foundation’s previous heart attack awareness television campaign first aired in 2015. Viewers were asked to decide who was giving the best rendition of a heart attack. The answer (the man on the bench in the background of the ad) surprised many viewers.

The campaign built strong awareness and delivered a powerful message around the real symptoms of a heart attack, which may not be as dramatic as people think.

The Heart Foundation hopes the messages in the new television advertisements will help save more lives and improve the outcomes for New Zealanders experiencing a heart attack.

Learn more about warning signsWatch the ads