If you should experience heart attack symptoms, get to the nearest emergency room.  Quickly. 

When you’re in an urgent situation, it’s comforting to know that all our emergency departments are staffed by physicians who can determine both the problem and the next best steps quickly and accurately. Tests are administered promptly and results analyzed on the spot.

The next step could mean further diagnostics. Or a rapid intervention. Electrophysiology is another possible option. Surgery may be required. Regardless of the choices, you and your primary care physician will be kept informed throughout the process.

Innovative Programs to Increase Survival Rates

The introduction of innovative programs at The Heart Center has further increased survival rates for those individuals experiencing a cardiac event and include:

Twelve-Lead EKG Transmission

A pre-hospital program, 12-lead EKG transmission brings together multiple technologies to aid in patient diagnosis, facilitate care, and minimize heart damage.  The program reduces the time to cardiac intervention significantly, which has improved outcomes for heart attack victims.  For Excela Health's efforts, we have been recognized by the American Heart Association as a model among the members of its Mission Lifeline Coalition in Pennsylvania.

Hypothermic Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

Patients suffering a cardiac arrest have a high rate of mortality and morbidity.  Studies show that more than 90 percent of those with cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital.  Studies also indicate that cooling a patient's core body temperatire improves these odds.  Hypothermia therapy, most often begun in the emergency department, can also start in the cardiac catheterization lab, a critical care or intensive care unit or in the field by emergency medical fist responders.  Many EMS providers are trained and equipped to initiate hypothermia therapy in the field including Excela Health's EMS crews at Frick Hospital.

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and acting within the first "golden hour" of those symptoms greatly improves your chances of recovery and may even save your life.  Some of those common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort lasting more than a few minutes or that goes away and returns; feels like pressure, squeezing or fullness in the center of the chest.
  • Pain or discomfort in other upper body areas such as one or both arms, the back, jaw, neck or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • A heavy, cold sweat on the upper body.
  • Nausea, lightheadness or dizziness, especially when standing up.

Women, too, experience chest pain or discomfort, but they are somewhat more likely to have some of the other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

If you experience the above, get help immediately.  Tell someone you are having symptoms, call 9-1-1, or get to a hospital emergency room quickly.