Heart Attack Care

Cardiac doctor in operating roomNot all hospitals have the same capabilities to treat heart issues or severe heart attacks. Enloe Medical Center pairs award-winning cardiac treatment with compassionate care.

In fact, Healthgrades, the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems, recently awarded Enloe Medical Center its 5-Start recognition for heart attack treatment. And U.S. News & World Report named Enloe a top performer for heart attacks, meaning you’re in good hands. 

A STEMI Receiving Center

Call 911 Without Delay

If you think you’re having a heart attack or have heart attack warning signs, call 911. The faster you get help, the less likely you’ll have significant heart damage after a heart attack. Time is muscle.

You see, when you have a heart attack, your heart is not getting enough blood. But medications and procedures can restore the blood flow and save your heart muscle.

Enloe was the first hospital from Sacramento to the Oregon border to become a heart STEMI Receiving Center. What does that mean for you? That Enloe caregivers can treat ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarctions. Sometimes called widowmaker heart attacks, these severe heart attacks occur when one or more arteries is completely or almost completely blocked.

EMS agencies certify hospitals as STEMI Receiving Centers if they’re equipped to care for these heart emergencies.

“For patients suffering a STEMI heart attack, a lifesaving trip to a 24-hour STEMI Center for urgent intervention could mean the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Troy Falck, Medical Director of the Sierra-Sacramento Valley EMS Agency.

The STEMI Response

The STEMI response begins when an ambulance or fire department responds to an emergency. If the person shows signs of having a heart attack, caregivers perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) using equipment provided by the STEMI Receiving Center. Then the ECG goes to the hospital.

When Enloe receives an ECG showing a possible STEMI, a team of physicians, cardiologists, nurses and other caregivers get ready for the patient’s arrival. This team approach speeds up the treatment.

The national standard is to open a blocked vessel within 90 minutes of the initial heart attack diagnosis. This timeframe is known as the Door-to-Balloon Golden Rule. That’s because angioplasty, which employs small balloons, is often used to restore blood flow in the blocked arteries. Studies show that this quick treatment saves heart muscle and reduces heart damage after heart attacks. Statistics also show that STEMI response improves your chance for survival.

Woman having a heart attackThe Signs of a Heart Attack

Knowing the first signs of a heart attack can save your life. Heart attacks are common. Every year, more than 800,000 Americans have a heart attack — that’s someone every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While some have silent heart attacks — 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent — many people have heart warning signs. Symptoms can vary, but the most common signs are:

  • Pressure, squeezing, discomfort or pain in the chest
  • Discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulders, arms or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating

Early signs of heart attack in men can be different from women’s heart attack symptoms. Men might mistake chest pain for indigestion. Women and people with diabetes might experience shortness of breath when resting, indigestion and nausea.

Have high blood pressure? Take note. Having high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels can put you at a greater risk of a heart attack.

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