Early Heart Attack Care

Washington Regional Medical Center - "Early heart attack care is recognizing the signs and symptoms." Dr. Shaun Senter is a Cardiologist at the Walker Heart Cardiovascular Clinic. He says that early heart attack signs can differ in different people. 

"Some people have a chest ache or a chest burning, some may just have a discomfort, a heaviness or a fullness in their chest, some patients in fact think that they’re having reflux which is indigestion and they feel a burning in their chest."

'Women in particular, as well as diabetics may not have those symptoms, in fact they may only have symptoms of shortness of breath, nausea and fatigue but these may be signs that a heartache is coming and it may not happen all at once."

"The patient may not collapse on the ground, you may notice it over the first couple of weeks before the heart attack and it may come and go but if your symptoms are getting worse with exertion or you’re having nausea, shortness of breath or fatigue and you have risk factors, you definitely want to seek early medical advice. If you notice that somebody is having chest pain or you suspect that they’re having a heart attack, it would be important to call 911. 

So what do you do if you think a person is having a heart attack? Dr Senter says calling 911 and performing hands only CPR are the most important things to do. " It’s very important that you and the person who is having the symptoms not drive to the hospital. Hands-only CPR is performing chest compressions at approximately 100 compressions per minute and make sure that the patient is receiving enough oxygen and blood flow to the brain. It doesn’t require breathing for the patient, it simply requires chest compressions until emergency medical services arrive."

Washington Regional has special accreditation for taking care of heart attack victims. "Chest pain accreditation with coronary intervention resuscitation is something that Washington Regional Medical Center is committed to, it involves committing a lot of resources and staff who are specifically trained to treat the early signs of heart attack. When emergency medical services bring patients to our hospital we are equipped to not only monitor them, but take care of them quickly and efficiently. Sudden cardiac death may be caused by a heart attack and only 1 in 8 persons will survive sudden cardiac death. By being in a hospital that’s equipped to take care of those patients, over 50% will survive."


February is heart month, you can join Washington Regional for a Day of Dance on February 25th where Washington Regional Medical Center will be having a health fair at Northwest Arkansas Mall and you’re welcome to join us for learning more about early heart attack care and hands-only CPR.

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