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Since 1985, the National Heart Council has supported emergency training programs, provided lifesaving equipment, and helped to fund educational and direct service programs aimed at combating heart attack and heart disease. Our educational materials are provided to hospitals, service organizations and the general public.

Looking for National Heart Research?

National Heart Research is the former name of what is now the National Heart Council. The name was changed in the 1990's to better reflect the work we were accomplishing. So if you're looking for National Heart Research, you've found us, now with a new name!

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is severly reduced or stopped. The medical term is "myocardial infarction." The causes of heart attacks are a blocked artery from buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, or a blood clot in a coronary artery. The heart falters and blood is unable to be pumped through the heart.

Early Warning Sings of a Heart Attack

If you experience any of the following warning signs, go to a hospital immediately!

Pressure, squeezing or pain in the chest for more than two minutes.
Pain may come on slowly and build up. It is often "diffused" or spread out.
Severe pain, dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
Pain or strange sensation in the jaw or arms.

Remember: Denying these danger signs can kill you! Get medical help immediately.

Following are some of the educational materials developed and disseminated by the Council:


Straight from the Heart

Over the past decade, video has become a very popular and effective means of communicating an idea. For this reason, the National Heart Council has finished production of a dynamic and visually compelling new video-based program about heart attack entitled Straight from the Heart. It follows the experiences of five ethnically diverse families who have been impacted by heart disease. Among its objectives is to educate viewers that the warning signs of an imminent heart attack are broader than the most common ones, such as shooting pains in the arms. For example, pain in the jaws and feet can often be signs that are not usually recognized.

Additionally, it focuses on the steps to take when someone has a heart attack. Importantly, the video explores in an entertaining, yet realistic manner, the powerful emotions that are experienced on the part of heart attack survivors and their spouses and children, as well. Feelings such as anger and guilt are not often discussed openly. It highlights the normal range of emotions that survivors and their families experience, and how to cope with these. Finally, the video addresses the good habits and behaviors that can help to prevent heart attack.



Five Minute Guide to Heart Attack Prevention and Survival

This compact, information laden brochure identifies the early warning signs of heart attack and provides a simple test to assess one's risk of heart attack. Included is a mini heart attack prevention course, the seven steps to take when someone is having a heart attack, and how to administer CPR. This Five Minute Guide is a popular handout at health fairs and in hospital waiting rooms.



Heart Attack Survival Manual

The aftermath of heart attack affects not only the survivor, but the spouse and family of the heart attack victim as well. This booklet is designed to assist heart attack survivors and their families understand what happened and take the necessary steps to ensure that it will not happen again. It covers rehabilitation, exercise, and healthy eating. It also offers advice for the spouse who often experiences guilt and fear.



Heart Health Tips

This handy pocket guide includes the warning signs and risk factors for heart attack. Importantly, it also provides questions one can ask the doctor to assess his or her personal risk for heart attack. The specific tests, which need to be done, are also listed along with space to record the results.



Water - The Forgotten Requirement

Many of us are becoming more active, talking walks in the neighborhood, working in the garden, playing sports, jogging, and enjoying other forms of physical exercise. While these activities are good for the heart, not to mention the spirit, it's very important that we drink enough water to prevent becoming dehydrated. Most of us don't pay enough attention to our need for water. Failure to replace water our body loses every day due to breathing, sweating, and eliminating waste, can cause serious health problems and can even lead to death if not treated in a timely manner. This timely booklet provides important facts about our need for water, how we can recognize the symptoms of dehydration, and how to go about getting the water our bodies need.


Aspirin Pill Pack

Aspirin Pill Pack

Taking a single aspirin tablet during heart attack could save your life. The Aspirin Pill pack makes it convenient to carry aspirin with you at all times. The Pill Pack is a circular, crush-proof case, which attaches to your key chain or purse, and holds two aspirin in rattle-proof compartments. An informed adult can easily open its child-protective closure. Its lettering makes it easy to locate by feel - even in the dark.

The Pill Pack is free to you with a donation of $10 or more to the National Heart Council. Click here to visit our online donation page.


To learn how to obtain our educational resources, click here »

Support the National Heart Council

Support NEMA

The National Heart Council is a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We receive no federal funding but are supported exclusively through the generosity of private donors across the country. To find out how you can support our lifesaving efforts, please visit our How To Help page.

Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.


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