American Heart Association and Elephant take aim at top cause of death with February “Dial, Don’t Drive” campaign

This February, American Heart Month, Elephant Auto Insurance, the eighth fastest growing Property and Casualty insurer in the U.S., and the American Heart Association, encourage the community to “Dial, Don’t Drive” when experiencing the warning signs of heart attack or stroke.  Heart disease and stroke are still the leading two killers in the world; in the U.S., heart disease ranks first and stroke fifth.  When suffering from a heart attack or stroke, every second counts. The faster heart attack or stroke victims get help, the better their chances of survival.

The “Dial, Don’t Drive” campaign aims to educate the community about life-saving steps that can be taken when they, or someone they love, experience warning signs, including immediately dialing 9-1-1 for life-saving help. In addition, “Dial, Don’t Drive,” aims to educate consumers about the risks of driving themselves, or a loved one who is suffering from a heart attack or stroke, to the hospital.  Elephant Auto Insurance is a sponsor of the American Heart Association in Richmond, Virginia, home to Elephant’s headquarters.

“Critical care for heart attack and stroke patients often happens in the ambulance where the patient’s needs can be analyzed and specialized treatment can begin,” says Dr. Lornel Tompkins, President of the American Heart Association’s Richmond, Virginia Board.  Of the people who die from heart attacks, about half die within an hour of their first symptoms, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tompkins adds, “Because patients who arrive by ambulance are often treated more quickly than walk-ins, the decision to call an ambulance rather than driving oneself, is life-saving.”

Patients who arrive by ambulance are often treated more quickly than walk-ins, so the decision to call an ambulance rather than driving oneself, can be life-saving.

Patients who arrive by ambulance are often treated more quickly than walk-ins, so the decision to call an ambulance rather than driving oneself, can be life-saving.

Although some heart attacks are sudden and intense, most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Warning signs can include discomfort in the chest (pressure, squeezing, fullness), discomfort in other upper-body areas (arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach), shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. Women are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain.

Signs of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and/or a severe headache with no known cause.

“Knowing what to do when you or a loved one suffers from a heart attack or stroke is truly a matter of life or death. Through our ‘Dial, Don’t Drive’ campaign, we aim to continue our mission to protect drivers not only behind the wheel but also on the road of life,” says Greg Minkler, Director of Marketing for Elephant Auto Insurance.

For life-saving tips, ongoing education about recognizing the signs of a heart attack or stroke and other “Dial, Don’t Drive” campaign initiatives, consumers are encouraged to connect with Elephant Auto Insurance on Facebook all February long at www.facebook.com/ElephantInsurance.