If you or someone you love is having a heart attack—also known as acute myocardial infarction—minutes matter.
A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and your heart is not able to get the oxygen it needs from the blood. Without blood flow, part of the heart muscle is damaged, or dies. This is a life-threatening medical emergency.
Heart attack care at Emerson Hospital
At Emerson Hospital, our emergency department and board-certified cardiologists work closely with the region’s emergency medical responders and tertiary care centers to ensure patients get the fastest, most appropriate heart attack care in order to achieve the best-possible outcomes.
If you are brought to Emerson Hospital showing signs and symptoms of a heart attack, the goal is to restore blood flow within 30 to 60 minutes. Our emergency team will:
- Perform a fast, expert assessment to determine if you are having a heart attack
- Deliver immediate life-saving treatment by administering aspirin, a drug that can help reduce the severity of a heart attack and improve survival rates by lowering the tendency of blood to clot in the vessels
- Stabilize your condition and quickly coordinate your transfer to the most appropriate facility if more advanced intervention is needed, such as angioplasty, stent placement or coronary artery bypass surgery
Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack
Not all heart attacks present with sudden chest-crushing pain like in the movies. Symptoms may start slowly with discomfort and, because people are not sure what is happening, they may wait too long to get help. Other heart attack symptoms include:
- Chest discomfort (pressure, fullness, squeezing) that comes and goes
- Pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Anxiety, a sense of dread
Women are more likely to experience symptoms other than chest pain. They have a greater tendency to have pain just under the breastbone, or complain of abdominal pain, indigestion, difficulty breathing, nausea and unexplained fatigue.
Getting help fast can save your life
Even if you are not sure you or a loved one is having a heart attack, get help fast by calling 911.
Emergency medical responders are trained to evaluate and help someone who is having a heart attack, and they can send information to Emerson’s emergency department before you arrive. Sometimes, this means you will be brought directly to a tertiary care center for immediate intervention.
After a heart attack
It is important to know that Emerson Hospital offers an array of services to help you recover if you have had a cardiac event, including a robust cardiac rehabilitation program
and support services