In the event of a heart attack, every second counts. Hunterdon’s team of board-certified interventional cardiologists, ER doctors and nurses provide emergency angioplasty for heart attacks – a procedure that quickly opens clogged arteries and restores blood flow and oxygen to the heart. Hunterdon prides itself on consistently exceeding the national “door to balloon” time (the length of time between a patient’s arrival in the ER and an emergency angioplasty procedure) of less than 90 minutes, with an average time of less than 60 minutes. In exceeding this national average, Hunterdon’s care positively affects patient outcomes. Only state-licensed facilities, like Hunterdon Medical Center, can offer this procedure, which has been proven to reduce mortality rates in heart attack patients.
EKG data is transmitted, on route, from the MICU to the Lifenet Receiving Station in the Emergency Department, where physicians and staff can monitor. The ER doctor interprets the EKG and institutes the AMI (acute MI – Heart Attack) protocol. The interventional cardiologist and cath lab team are notified. This enables the interventional cardiologist to prepare in advance of the patient’s arrival, allowing them to begin the procedure as promptly as possible.
Emergency angioplasty has been found to reduce the risk of heart attack-related complications – including stroke or a second heart attack – and reduce the likelihood of the development of congestive heart failure due to muscle damage. In most cases, emergency angioplasty requires only local anesthesia, reducing the risk of anesthesia-related complications.
Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack
If you experience any of the symptoms of a heart attack* below, dial 9-1-1 immediately:
- Chest pain: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that comes and goes. This can be pain, fullness, squeezing or uncomfortable pressure.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: These symptoms can include pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, one or both arms, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath: This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other symptoms: Other signs of a heart attack may include nausea, lightheadedness, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
- Fatigue, not feeling well: Women, elderly and people with diabetes may experience atypical symptoms of just not feeling well.
Death from a heart attack can occur within an hour after the onset of symptoms. It is imperative to call 9-1-1 ASAP if you experience any of these symptoms.
Additional information about heart attacks is available by visiting the American Heart Association’s website at www.americanheart.org.
If you are experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1.
*American Heart Association
Kurt Channick, MDEmergency Medicine Physician
Kathryn L. Grimes, MDEmergency Medicine
Sarah M. Iosifescu, MDEmergency Medicine Physician
Norma J. Johnson-Villanueva, MDEmergency Medicine
Nimish Mehta, MDEmergency Medicine Physician
Mona Jaggi, MDEmergency Medicine
Michael A. Prendergast, MDEmergency Medicine
Kristen Rizzo, MDEmergency Medicine Physician
Edward D. Spector, MDEmergency Medicine Physician
Young D. Yoon, MDEmergency Medicine Physician
Erin M. Fallon, PA-CPhysician Assistant
Tracey A. Keegan, FNP-BCFamily Nurse Practitioner
Heather E. Shafai, PA-CPhysician Assistant
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