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Heart Attack Prevention


Any sports fan knows the best defense is often times the best offense. Your best defense for a heart attack is prevention. Your risk increases with age and if you have multiple, unrelated health problems. Even if you are not living a healthy lifestyle now, it is not too late to start reducing your risk factors.

Treatment For Heart Attack At Dominican Hospital

Anyone who has signs of a heart attack should call 9-1-1 immediately. Santa Cruz emergency transport vehicles are equipped with EKG machines. An emergency EKG will trigger deployment of an expert cardiac interventionalist even before the ambulance arrives at the hospital.

Pre hospital screening is critical to early treatment. Do not drive yourself or your loved one to the hospital if you are experiencing acute symptoms.

The sooner you receive medical attention, the sooner blood flow can be restored to the heart muscle and decrease disability after a heart attack. Your doctor may choose to treat you with any of the following:

  • Emergency cardiac catheterization with immediate stent implantation may be indicated.
  • Other non-invasive cardiac testing or overnight monitoring may be required if the EKG is not definitive of a heart attack.
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery may be needed to improve the blood supply to the heart muscle when several coronary arteries have significant blockages that hinder blood flow.
  • The cardiac interventionist and cardiac surgeon work together to make best care decisions based on the severity of the attack. If the body is in a shock state, your heart may need treatment before it can undergo surgery. You may spend time in the in the critical care unit and receive, cooling therapy (or hypothermia) or temporary cardiac support such as an intra-aortic balloon pump, Impella device or temporary bypass support  (extracorporeal life support or ECLS). 

Preventing A Second Heart Attack

Most Americans survive a first heart attack but are at an even greater risk for another one. By taking action, you can significantly reduce your chances for a second heart attack. Heart attack is a “wake-up” call for some, and for others a completely unexpected event despite best efforts at prevention.  By taking action, you can significantly reduce your chances for a second heart attack. All patients who have had a stent implanted or have survived a heart attack are referred to Dominican Hospital’s Cardiac Risk Reduction Program.  Mood change and depression can be common after a heart attack. Even in the best circumstance, changes in lifestyle and daily life are difficult for most people.  Change that can be sustained over time is the goal of the program, with individual plans to meet your needs.  Support and special education is extremely important during this period to accomplish the following:

  • Assess your mental health and reduce your stress
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Control your cholesterol
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean protein with low intake of highly processed food and sugar
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Understand the importance of new medications and take as directed

Learn More About Heart Attack Prevention

To learn more about our services and how we can help, please call us at 831.462.7707. To find a doctor, please visit our online Find a Doctor tool.