A heart attack (acute myocardial infarction) can have a profound effect on your quality of life. If you have a heart attack, some of your heart muscle becomes damaged and dies. That’s why treatment for heart attacks focuses on preserving your heart’s function and preventing another heart attack in the future.
Dignity Health North State provides advanced care for patients with heart conditions. If you are at risk for heart disease or heart attack, Find a Doctor to discuss prevention strategies and heart attack treatments in Northern California.
Treating Heart Attacks at Dignity Health North State
Prompt action can save your life if you are having a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention, or call 911 immediately, if you feel signs of a heart attack. Don’t wait for symptoms to go away on their own.
Common emergency treatments for heart attack include:
- Oxygen — to help with shortness of breath
- Aspirin — to prevent blood clots
- Nitroglycerine — to relax your blood vessels and ease the load on your heart
- Intravenous pain medication — to ease chest pain and relieve anxiety
If you are diagnosed with a heart attack, you will likely undergo one of the following surgeries:
- Coronary angioplasty. This procedure clears blockages in arteries supplying your heart.
- Stent placement. Stents hold your arteries open after blockages have been cleared.
- Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. This treatment creates a new path for blood to supply the heart, bypassing blocked blood vessels.
After you recover, you may be asked to consider some follow-up care options, including:
- Medications — help manage heart conditions like high blood pressure
- Quitting smoking — improves your lung health and lowers your risk for another heart attack
- Lifestyle changes — eating a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise
- Cardiac rehabilitation — medically supervised program to help keep your heart healthy
Choosing Your Treatment Options
When you’re having a heart attack, treatment decisions have to be made quickly. The need for immediate intervention will likely prevent an opportunity to fully consider all options.
However, after you recover from your surgical procedure, you will be able to discuss your preferred follow-up treatments with your Dignity Health North State doctor. Your doctor’s recommendations will take into account your overall health, the extent of damage to your heart, and the severity of your heart disease.
Almost all heart attacks can be prevented if you:
- Don’t smoke or quit
- Get treatment for heart conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Control your blood sugar if you have type 2 diabetes
- Eat a low-sodium (salt) diet, rich in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Cope effectively with stress
Our hospitals provide cardiovascular services for patients across Northern California. Learn about how Dignity Health North State serves our communities.
Dignity Health North State delivers emergency care, including expert heart attack treatment, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.