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Heart Disease Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the US. This year, approximately 700,000 Americans will experience their first heart attack and approximately 500,000 will have a recurring attack.

United Regional is a leader in the treatment of heart and vascular disease, providing prevention education, advanced diagnostics, specialized emergency care, highly skilled surgeons and experienced and compassionate staff to support patients throughout the recovery process.

Where to go if you’re having a heart attack.

At United Regional, expertise in emergency care and heart care are brought together to rapidly assess and treat patients. When you’re having a heart attack, where you choose to go for treatment could be one of the most critical decisions of your life.

Call 911 – Do not drive to the Emergency Room – Here’s Why

When a heart attack occurs, every minute of delay in opening up the coronary artery increases the likelihood and the amount of heart muscle damage due to oxygen deprivation. So, if you have any symptoms, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help.

Go by Ambulance

Call 9-1-1 and go by ambulance. EMS now has the ability to perform an EKG in the field to confirm a heart attack and alert United Regional’s emergency room so that the cardiac catheterization team is in place to perform life-saving treatment upon your arrival.

Door-to-Balloon Time: The time from when a patient enters the ER with symptoms of a heart attack to when the patient is in the cardiac catheterization lab and a “balloon” has been inflated in the blocked artery to open it and restore blood flow. The standard is 90 minutes or less; this year, United Regional’s is significantly better, at 59 minutes!

At United Regional Emergency Department, a well-coordinated process helps us move the patient quickly from the assessment to treatment phase in the cardiac catheterization lab where angioplasty – a procedure where a balloon is used to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow – is performed.

The national benchmarking standard for getting a patient from the emergency room door to the cardiac catheterization lab is 90 minutes. United Regional does much better than the national standard because of our advanced technology, highly trained staff and time saving protocols.  In 2013, our heart patients moved from our Emergency Department to the cardiac catheterization lab in an average of 62 minutes.


Do You Know the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?

Whether or not you are at high risk for a heart attack it’s a good idea to be aware of the symptoms. If you begin to experience one or more of the following symptoms, please seek medical help immediately.

Symptoms Checklist

  • Shortness of Breath – suddenly feeling that you can’t get air, even if you are not doing strenuous activity
  • Weakness and Fatigue – simple tasks seem a lot more difficult
  • Light-Headedness or Dizziness – can come on rapidly along with an elevated pulse, and may get to the point where you faint or pass out.
  • Stomachache or Pressure – may feel like indigestion, just general pressure in the stomach or upper abdomen
  • Nausea or Vomiting – may dry-heave or actually expel food
  • Pain in the Back, Jaw, Neck or Arm – throbbing, crushing pressure, or sharp tearing pain in any of these areas
  • Fear of Impending Doom – a sense that something is not right