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If you are having chest pain, go straight to your nearest hospital ER. In Brown County, immediate care can best be obtained by calling 911. Whatever you do, just don't waste valuable time. Time equals heart tissue. A delay of even a few hours could literally make the difference between life and death, or the difference between no heart damage and severe, permanent damage.
Bellin Health treats heart attacks aggressively. By working with the surrounding hospitals and the Emergency Medical System (EMS), heart attack patients are taken directly to the heart catherization ("cath") lab, where techniques such as balloon angioplasty and stenting can open blocked coronary (heart) vessels quickly and safely. This results in lives saved and heart muscle left undamaged.
If you live far away from a hospital that can provider this aggressive care, doctors and nurses can give you life-saving medicines called "thrombolytic drugs" that can break up blood clots and stabilize arteries. This restores the flow of oxygen and nutrients needed to return the heart to good working order. These drugs are effective only if you receive them within the first hours of a heart attack – or better still, before the arteries have become totally clogged. These medications are used as part of our level 1 heart care protocol prior to transer to Bellin Health.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. 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.
When it comes to a cardiac issue, it’s important to know the warning signs and symptoms.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. The warning signs in women can be more subtle and hard to detect. We are dedicated to taking care providing specialized women’s cardiac care. For more information, click on the links below.
Cardiac Care section in Women Health