Advanced Care for Heart Attack Patients
Time is critical for anyone experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack. Every minute that passes without treatment increases the amount of damage to your heart, and can mean the difference between full recovery and permanent disability or death.
Studies have clearly demonstrated that the speed and skill with which doctors assess patients in the ER and transfer those who need it to a cardiac cath lab for stents or balloon angioplasty – what’s called “door to balloon time” in the medical arena – is one of the most important factors in reducing deaths and complications from heart attacks.
Choosing an ER with a hospital-based cath lab and open-heart surgery program offers the best protection against potentially life-threatening delays in receiving advanced cardiac care.
Sarasota Memorial’s breakthrough DASH program (Direct Angioplasty Saves Hearts) ensures that heart patients in our community have access to that kind of aggressive, life-saving treatment.At Sarasota Memorial, the hospital’s emergency medicine physicians and cardiologists are available 24/7 and mobilize as soon as paramedics answer a heart-related 911 call. Every minute that follows is a carefully orchestrated sequence of steps that ensure people suffering heart attacks are quickly stabilized and, when appropriate, transferred to the hospital’s cath lab within 60 minutes.
DON’T DELAY ... TIME IS MUSCLE
Call 911 and seek emergency medical care immediately!
A heart attack occurs when a vessel supplying the heart muscle is narrowed or blocked. Part of the heart muscle will die if medical treatment is not given quickly. Treatments are most effective when they occur in the early stages of chest pain.
HEART ATTACK WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Pain or discomfort in upper body, stomach, arms, back, neck, jaw
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
- Cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness
Women may also experience the following symptoms
- Unexplained weakness
- Sudden, unusual fatigue
Advanced Care for Stroke Patients
Call 911 at the very first signs of a stroke. Do not attempt to drive yourself or someone else to the hospital. This is a common mistake that often delays treatment.
A call to 911 will alert the hospital, which will then set stroke protocols in motion even before your arrival, saving precious minutes that can make a significant difference in your recovery. Florida law encourages emergency medical providers to transport stroke victims to a primary or comprehensive stroke center - bypassing closer hospitals when necessary - to ensure the highest caliber of care.
The region’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center, Sarasota Memorial has been recognized by the Florida Agency of Healthcare Administration for providing advanced treatments for people facing the greatest challenges in stroke care. Our nationally recognized program also has been certified "with distinction" as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and given its "Gold Seal of Approval." That seal means we have the specialized knowledge, skills and technology in place to provide people with the best possible stroke care in our community.
Our multidisciplinary stroke team includes:
• Physicians from neurology, neurosurgery, radiology, emergency medicine
• Specially trained clinicians, nurses and rehab specialists
For a free magnet listing the symptoms of stroke and steps you should take in an emergency, please call Sarasota Memorial's HealthLine at 941-917-7777 or send your request by email:
» Stroke Magnet Request
Once our stroke team receives the call, imaging services are readied so a CT – which helps doctors determine what kind of stroke you’ve had – can be performed as soon as you arrive at the hospital. Your doctor may also order a MRI to determine the extent of the damage and help predict recovery.
After the scans – and other possible tests – an assessment of your condition will be made and, if possible, t-PA will be administered. t-PA is a special clot-busting drug used to treat ischemic strokes (the 80% of strokes caused by a blood clot). In many cases, when administered within 3 hours of the onset of stroke systems, t-PA can prevent brain damage and permanent disability by dissolving the blockage preventing blood flow to the brain.
Sarasota Memorial is proud to offer among the highest rates of t-PA administration in the nation, as well as many more advanced treatments and protocols to help people who miss that all-important 3-hour window for emergency treatment.
You can find more information about our stroke program, visit our stroke center of excellence.