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Nov 23, 2018

Pan-Polish ‘Heart attack – Time is Life’ campaign helps save lives

Estimated reading time: 4-6 minutes

In new ‘Heart attack – Time is Life’ campaign, Philips and its partners educate Polish people on proper course of action in the event of a heart attack

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cardiovascular disease (CVD) takes the lives of 17.9 million people each year, an estimated 31% of all deaths worldwide. Philips not only develops innovative solutions to prevent, diagnose and treat heart conditions and support those living with a chronic heart condition, the company is also actively engaged in campaigns across the globe to raise awareness about healthy heart lifestyles and educate people about how to react to a heart attack (myocardial infarction). In addition to teaching people how to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the seconds and minutes after a heart attack, the campaigns also create awareness of what patients should do at the onset of symptoms. 


One recent example is the ‘Back to Rhythm’ campaign in Egypt, where as part of a range of educational heart health activities Philips employees set a world record for creating the world’s largest ‘digital heart’. Philips is now strategic partner in a similar national campaign in Poland aimed at educating people about the symptoms of myocardial infarction and the crucial importance of shortening the time from the first symptoms to obtaining professional help, often a matter of life and death.

In Poland, one in four heart attack victims die before getting to hospital

Nearly 80,000 Poles with myocardial infarction are admitted to hospitals each year [1], and studies show that one patient in four dies before even getting to hospital [2]. Why? Excessive delay in calling for help is one of the main reasons.


This alarming evidence was the basis for creation of the pan-Polish ‘Heart attack – Time is Life’ campaign by the Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases in Zabrze and its Foundation, which  aims to shorten the time-to-hospital delay through education about the proper course of action in the case of a heart attack. Philips is the campaign’s strategic partner. 


In half of Poles with myocardial infarction, time from the first symptoms to obtaining professional help at an interventional cardiology center exceeds 260 minutes [3]. As demonstrated by a survey conducted for the purposes of the campaign by SW Research, as many as 73.8% of Poles know that chest pain may be a symptom of myocardial infarction but unfortunately only 22.2% of respondents said they would call an ambulance when feeling chest pain. Only one in four (23.5%) would react immediately, while three-quarters would delay calling for help. Around one in five (18.5%) would leave it until the following day, citing various reasons such as daily duties, fear, or attributing their ill-health to other causes.

Time saves lives

In the case of a heart attack, however, time is crucial,” emphasized Professor Marian Zembala, M.D., General Director of the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze. “That’s why immediate contact with the emergency service number and the despatch of an ambulance is so important. “Only a few of us realize that irreversible changes in the heart occur from the very first minutes of a heart attack. These changes have a significant impact on the patient’s survival chances and quality of life after a heart attack.” 


“Poland can be proud of having one of the best standards of acute cardiac event management, yet every fourth patient dies because they called the ambulance too late,” said Reinier Schlatmann, Market Leader Central & Eastern Europe, Philips. “We hope that via this campaign we will not only contribute to an increased level of awareness but also significantly improve the health of cardiac patients in Poland.”


[1] National Database of Myocardial Infarction Cases in Poland AMI-PL

[2] Dudas K, et al. Circulation. 2011;123:46-52.

[3] Pan-Polish Register of Acute Coronary Syndrome Cases PL-ACS

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Joost Maltha

Joost Maltha

Philips Global Press Office

Tel: +31 6 10 55 8116

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Kamila Kozbial

Kamila Koźbiał

Philips Poland

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