Chest pain and heart attack care

A heart attack is a medical emergency that happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked. Depend on the skilled physicians at Montage Health to identify and treat the cause of chest pain and other symptoms quickly and effectively.

Accredited center

When it matters most, the cardiovascular specialists at Montage Health’s Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula are ready to provide life-saving heart attack care. Community Hospital holds accreditation as:

  • Chest Pain Center from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Accreditation Services. This recognizes our expertise in caring for patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack and that we receive ongoing assessments to make sure we meet the highest standards for care
  • STEMI (segment elevation myocardial infarction) Receiving Center by Monterey County, which means we’re able to care for the most dangerous types of heart attacks

These distinctions mean you’ll benefit from:

  • Prompt evaluation and diagnostic testing to find out if you’re having a heart attack
  • Care from a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, and other professionals who follow best practices to help each patient reach their best outcome
  • Evidence-based treatments to stop a heart attack, such as cardiac catheterization to clear a blockage

Symptoms of a heart attack

Get emergency help if you or someone else has:

  • Chest pain. Most heart attacks cause discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It may feel like pressure, burning, squeezing, or fullness
  • Discomfort in other parts of the upper body, such as the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Nausea or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

Signs of a heart attack in women

Certain heart attack symptoms are more common in women than men. If you’re a woman, you’re less likely to experience chest pressure during a heart attack. You’re more likely to have:

  • Anxiety
  • Cold sweats or paleness
  • Discomfort or pressure between the shoulder blades, upper back, or abdomen
  • Dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue

Am I having a heart attack?

Even if you aren’t sure you’re having a heart attack, your symptoms mean you need to see a doctor immediately. Most damage from a heart attack happens in the first two hours. Acting fast increase your chances of survival and full recovery.

Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. Call 911.

While you wait for the ambulance, take a regular-strength dose of aspirin if you’re not allergic to aspirin. Aspirin helps prevent clotting and lets your blood flow more easily while you seek medical attention.

Heart attack care: what to expect

When emergency medical staff (EMS) arrive following your 911 call, they’ll evaluate your condition, and you’ll board the ambulance. Because every minute counts to reduce heart damage, your paramedics will perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) in the ambulance to help determine if you’re having a heart attack. They’ll send the results to Community Hospital right away, so our emergency care team can start getting ready to care for you before your arrival.

At the hospital

Depending on your assessment, you may go to the:

Expect our team to work quickly and collaboratively to not only treat your condition, but help ease pain and make you as comfortable as possible.

If you’re diagnosed with a heart attack, you’ll stay in the hospital for a few days while our team monitors your condition and supports your recovery.

Recovering from a heart attack

Attend any follow-up appointments your doctor orders to make sure you’re recovering well and getting any needed treatment. To strengthen your heart and help your body heal after a heart attack, take part in cardiac rehabilitation, a supervised exercise and education program designed for patients like you.

Do I need emergency care?

Call 911 if you or someone else experiences:

  • New or unexplained chest pain or pressure, which may happen with or without shortness of breath
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Pain that radiates (moves) to one or both arms
  • Tightness or squeezing in your chest, back, neck, jaw, shoulder, or stomach
  • Weakness or fatigue

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