Sacred Heart Regional Heart & Vascular Institute
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Chest Pain Center

Chest Pain

The Chest Pain Center is located behind the hospital's Emergency Department. The Chest Pain Center's staff of doctors and nurses has skills in both emergency medicine and cardiac care. The staff analyzes the early warning symptoms of heart attacks, monitors patients and if needed, provides the patient with immediate access to advanced procedures to treat blockages in the coronary arteries.

In cases where a patient is having a heart attack, Sacred Heart has been able to reduce the time interval between arrival at the Emergency Department and the time a cardiologist opens a patient's blocked artery with a balloon angioplasty procedure. While the national standard is a 90-minute interval, Sacred Heart's Chest Pain Center has reduced its average ''door-to-balloon'' time to less than 60 minutes.

The Chest Pain Center encompasses the entire continuum of care for the heart patient. That includes integrating the Chest Pain Center with dispatch centers, Emergency Medical Systems, the emergency department, cath lab, and the community outreach efforts of Sacred Heart's cardiac nurse navigators.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can signal a heart attack:
  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately and ask to be taken to Sacred Heart Hospital's Chest Pain Center.

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