The more quickly a patient can get to the hospital, the better the chance of recovery. Diagnosis and treatment can begin with emergency personnel before the patient arrives at the hospital.
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have set guidelines recommending that within 90 minutes patients undergo cardiac catheterization and have intervention performed so that blood flow to the target artery is restored for acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center consistently meets or exceeds the standards for prompt care.
Know the Signs
When a heart attack strikes, call for help right away. Don’t wait. Unlike in the movies, many heart attacks are not sudden and intense. The symptoms can come on slowly. Common signs of a heart attack are:
- Discomfort in the chest, such as pressure, squeezing, or pain
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, jaw, neck, back or stomach
- Chest pain that increases in intensity, or doesn’t go away with rest or nitroglycerin
Chest pain that happens with any other symptoms, like:
- Cool, clammy skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
- Unexplained weakness or fatigue, or
- Rapid or irregular pulse