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As February is American Heart Month, DuPage County wants to educate the public about the importance of recognizing the warning signs of a potential heart attack in an effort to save lives. According to statistics released by Smart911, roughly 325,000 people die annually of coronary attack before they even get to a hospital. The following are some of those warning signs:
1. Chest Discomfort: A sensation in the center of the chest that feels like pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain. This can last more than a few minutes, or, go away and then return.
2. Upper Body Discomfort: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
3. Shortness of Breath: This may be accompanied by chest discomfort. Additional signs may include cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
If you experience any of these symptoms, do not to wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 to ensure rapid treatment.
Smart911 is a free public safety service available to anyone who lives, works or visits DuPage County. Users create a secure, private online safety profile that includes essential household information about family members, home, pets and vehicles. When users call 911, the profile appears on the dispatcher’s screen, and the dispatcher can convey any critical information to first responders answering the call. Smart911 users can create their profile at www.smart911.com. Users decide what important information they share, but they can include anything that may be needed in an emergency, including:
•Family members’ ages, photos or physical descriptions
•Information about their home, including address, utility shutoff valves and key holders
•Medical information, such as medications, medical conditions or disabilities
•Special considerations like language restrictions, restraining orders or rescue notes
Smart 911 is valuable when unresponsive callers are unable to speak due to a medical condition. One other important feature: More than 70 percent of 911 calls come from mobile phones. That cell phone’s exact location can’t always be determined by GPS from a cell tower. Smart911 displays the listed address of the mobile phone in the profile and can track the call via GPS, even if the call is disconnected.
DuPage County was the first county in Illinois to offer Smart911; since its introduction in 2011, more than 29,000 residents have created safety profiles. Learn more on the DuPage ETSB webpage at www.dupageco.org/smart911 and register at www.smart911.com.