Taysiders are dicing with death by ignoring heart attack symptoms during the pandemic.
Health chiefs say they fear people are putting off going to hospital because of the Covid-19 situation.
But they have urged anyone encountering the warning signs not to delay seeking medical help or going to hospital.
Consultant cardiologist, Dr Tom Martin said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of patients delaying their attendance at Ninewells with acute heart attacks.
“This means that patients have not come to hospital at the first signs of a heart attack, which is a concern as any delay in treating a heart attack increases risk of death.
“We know that people are doing their best to stay at home as much as possible to help protect the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People may be anxious about whether they should contact health services for non-coronavirus concerns.
“We are still here to help.
“It is really important not to ignore the warning signs of serious conditions.
“Please seek help immediately if you have concerns about symptoms of a heart attack by phoning 999, “said Dr Martin.
“If it was urgent before Covid-19, it’s still urgent now.”
He added: “We know people might be concerned about having to come in to a hospital, but we want to reassure you that we have taken every precaution to keep our staff and patients safe and protect them from Covid-19.
“Patients attending or admitted to hospital for a non-coronavirus concerns will be managed in a separate area from suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients.
“All our staff have been trained in infection control measures and will be wearing the appropriate PPE.
Range of warning signs
Heart attack symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling weak, lightheaded or both, and an overwhelming feeling of anxiety.
The consultant added: “It’s important to know that not everyone experiences severe chest pain.
“This is particularly the case with many women. The pain can often be mild and mistaken for indigestion.
“It’s the combination of symptoms that’s important in determining whether a person is having a heart attack and not the severity of chest pain.”