Three little numbers can make a huge difference. 9-1-1. Calling for emergency medical assistance provides rapid transportation to the hospital where care can be provided upon arrival.

Why call 9-1-1? In a heart attack situation, for example, 85 percent of muscle damage occurs within the first hour. This is often referred to as the “golden hour.” It is during this timeframe that the heart vessel needs to be opened. The faster the vessel is opened, the greater the benefit to the heart muscle. Of the more than one million Americans who have a heart attack each year, only about half of them survive and many have permanent heart damage because they did not get help right away.

The best way to stop the heart attack process is to recognize symptoms early before damage occurs. To be on the safe side, those who experience any chest pain or discomfort should quickly go to the emergency department for evaluation. Ultimately, it’s not the heart attack itself that kills. It’s also the time wasted when trying to decide whether or not to go to the hospital.

Calling 9-1-1 puts you in contact with trained dispatchers who can locate you quickly and assist with early treatment options. In many areas, emergency medical services can diagnose a heart attack before arriving at the hospital and initiate early treatment. Arrival at the hospital via ambulance also ensures that you will not have to wait to see a physician. 

To learn more about when to call 9-1-1, your doctor or the hospital, visit the free online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake

9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218


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