COATESVILLE, PA — Brandywine Hospital – Tower Health is reminding community members to call 9-1-1 if they are experiencing symptoms of heart attack. EMS can begin the immediate life-saving care needed while the patient is being transported to the hospital.
Earlier this year Tower Health announced that cardiac catheterization services at Brandywine Hospital will close permanently on Friday, December 11. This action will allow the Hospital to focus resources on other areas of clinical strength and community need. After the closure of the cardiac catheterization services, if a patient arrives at the emergency department with heart attack symptoms they will be stabilized and TowerDIRECT will coordinate transfer to either Phoenixville Hospital or Reading Hospital, both of which have much larger cardiac catheterization programs. Both Phoenixville and Reading have been recognized by the American Heart Association and the Joint Commission for their outstanding quality and timely care of patients with heart attacks.
“If you are experiencing heart attack symptoms it is critical to call 9-1-1 immediately,” said Claire Mooney, DNP, MBA, RN, CCRN, NEA-BC, Brandywine Hospital President and CEO. “Our EMT and paramedic partners provide life-saving treatment of heart attack en route to the nearest hospital. They also perform an electrocardiogram and send it to emergency department physicians for evaluation. If a heart attack is suspected the emergency team can mobilize and prepare for the arrival of the patient.”
A heart attack happens when a blood vessel supporting the heart is blocked. When the heart doesn’t receive blood, it causes the muscle to die. Immediate treatment is needed to prevent death or prevent permanent damage to the heart. Symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or it goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Difficulty breathing. This can happen with or without chest pain or pressure.
- Lightheadedness, nausea, and sweating.
Although chest pain is a common symptom, some people don’t experience it during a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms may also vary for women. The most common heart attack symptom for women is chest pain or pressure, but women are more likely than men to experience:
- Indigestion, nausea or vomiting
- Jaw or back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep disturbances
- Weakness, fatigue, body aches, or an overall feeling of illness (without chest pain)
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