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Heart emergencies require timely care. Pay attention to the warning signs.

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Dr. Amanda Ryan, Carlsbad Medical Center
Published 9:36 a.m. MT April 3, 2021

We’ve changed habits and actions to protect our health during the pandemic, but one thing still remains the same – we need to take quick action with a possible heart attack or stroke. Life-threatening blockages and arrhythmias need timely detection and treatment to support the best possible outcome. Waiting to get help can increase the damage to heart muscle or brain tissue.

Carlsbad Medical Center has deep resources ready to support diagnosis and intervention in the event of heart attack or stroke, including our cardiac catheterization lab, an interventional cardiologist on the medical staff, and 24-hour cardiology consult services. CMC is also an accredited Chest Pain Center, with a protocol-driven approach to heart care that reduces time to treatment during the critical first stages of a cardiac event.  

“Our team stands ready to help and the sooner we can see a patient to assess their condition and intervene, the better,” said Amanda Ryan, D.O., Interventional Cardiologist.  “The hospital has tremendous resources and highly trained medical professionals to help patients in need, and has taken important precautions to enhance safety in light of the pandemic. Timely action and COVID-19 safety are top of mind at all times.”

Concern for safety during the pandemic has kept many people from seeking medical help and that can get in the way of timely treatment in an emergency.  CMC is actively working to maintain a safe place patients can get medical help whether for a medical emergency or routine care.

The hospital’s precautions include enhanced practices for infection prevention, restricted access to the facility, and furniture arrangement to support social distancing and patient flow. Caregivers practice infection prevention including wearing personal protective equipment and washing hands before and after caring for each patient. Care for any COVID-19 positive patients is in a separate, designated area.

Ryan continued, “It’s important for members of our community to put their health first and to feel comfortable getting the care they need. Minutes matter, and we encourage our patients to always seek immediate emergency medical care, especially for serious conditions such as heart attack or stroke, to support the best possible outcome.”

Calling 9-1-1 for an ambulance is the best action rather than trying to drive to the hospital yourself when you or someone you are with experiences heart attack or stroke symptoms. EMS crews are trained to care for patients experiencing heart attack and stroke, so you’ll get medical care sooner.

Signs of a possible heart attack can include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and/or pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, arm or shoulder. Women also may feel nauseous, light-headed or unusually tired.

Symptoms of a stroke can be remembered with the acronym F-A-S-T:

  • Face drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?
  • Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb?
  • Speech difficulty – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand?
  • Time to call 911 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call  911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

If you need more information on your personal risk factors for heart disease, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor, or visit PecosValleyDocs.com to find a provider or specialist. You can also take an online heart risk assessment at carlsbadmedicalcenter.com.

Read or Share this story: https://www.currentargus.com/story/opinion/columnists/2021/04/03/heart-emergencies-require-timely-care-pay-attention-warning-signs/7074554002/

https://www.currentargus.com/story/opinion/columnists/2021/04/03/heart-emergencies-require-timely-care-pay-attention-warning-signs/7074554002/

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