According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 720,000 Americans have a heart attack each year.
When a Heart Attack Strikes, Every Second Counts
It is important to recognize the signs of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling
9-1-1, even if you are not sure you're having a heart attack. The faster you are treated, the lower your risk is of heart muscle damage or death.
All of the following can be signs of a heart attack:
- chest discomfort, pressure, tightness
- nausea, vomiting, belching
- pain or discomfort in the center of the chest (for women)
- shortness of breath
- squeezing that spreads through the chest and/or radiates to other areas of the body
- unusual fatigue
Special Care for Heart Attacks
While all heart attacks require prompt care, the severity and corresponding treatment plan may vary. If an artery becomes completely blocked, for example, and the damage involves the full thickness of the heart muscle, the resulting life-threatening condition is known as an ST elevation MI, or STEMI. Treatment for STEMI is different from that for other types of heart attacks. As a result, it is important that a heart attack patient be taken by ambulance to a hospital designated as a STEMI receiving center - where a STEMI can be treated within 90 minutes or less, as American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines suggest. Always call 9-1-1 if you suspect a heart attack to ensure you receive treatment as fast as possible.
St. John's designation as a STEMI receiving center means heart attack patients have access to our three state-of-the-art catheterization laboratories, where minimally invasive diagnostic heart procedures are available within minutes. Our fast treatment times improve chances of survival and a full recovery.
For a cardiologist at St. John's, call (877) 753-6248, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For emergency heart care, call 9-1-1.