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.
Merit Health Wesley has deep resources ready to support diagnosis and intervention in the event of heart attack or stroke. The hospital has received awards and accreditations for heart attack and stroke care, including the 2020 American College of Cardiology Chest Pain Center Accreditation and the 2020 American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award.
“Cardiovascular care continues to be a top priority in our area,” said interventional cardiologist Alan Covin. “The sooner we can assess a patient after they begin experiencing symptoms of a stroke or heart attack, the better. Quick intervention is key to a successful recovery. The hospital has taken important precautions to enhance safety in light of the pandemic.”
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.
Merit Health Wesley 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.
Covin continued, “We realize how important it is for members of our community to put their health first and to feel comfortable getting the care they need. We encourage our patients to always seek immediate emergency medical care for serious conditions such as heart attack or stroke to support the best possible outcome.”
Calling 911 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.
Stroke symptoms can be recalled 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.
If you need more information on your risk factors, schedule time with your primary care doctor.