Heart attacks can differ in their severity, depending on the cause and
size of the blockage limiting blood flow. STEMI heart attacks are the
most severe type of heart attack, and they are characterized by an ST-elevation
during myocardial infarction. This reading, which can be seen on an electrocardiogram,
will indicate a complete blockage of the coronary artery. With this type
of blockage, more widespread damage is likely to occur in the heart muscle.
Therefore, it is very important to identify this type of heart attack
quickly and have the right type of care available to restore blood flow.
West Hills Hospital’s Emergency Room is a STEMI receiving center,
meaning that we will provide the most efficient care possible for STEMI
heart attacks. Below, you can get a closer look at the ways that these
heart attacks are diagnosed and treated in our hospital.
Severe heart attack symptoms
Because STEMI heart attacks are more severe, they may have more pronounced
symptoms. Chest pain and weakness in particular may be amplified with
this type of heart attack. If any type of heart attack symptoms are present,
you will want to call 911 so that you receive care in the timeliest fashion.
With a STEMI heart attack, the diagnosis may come before you even arrive
at the ER. Ambulances are equipped with electrocardiogram equipment for
a rapid diagnosis that will indicate the proper steps in patient care,
including transportation to a STEMI receiving center.
Preferred STEMI treatments
While clot-busting medications are highly effective for non-STEMI heart
attacks, they are not the preferred method of treatment when a complete
blockage is present. A STEMI heart attack should be treated with percutaneous
coronary intervention, which involves the insertion of a catheter into
the coronary artery to reopen the blood vessel quickly with a lower risk
of bleeding than clot-busting medication.
To learn more about the enhanced ER capabilities of West Hills Hospital,
give us a call at (818) 676-4321. Our nurses are available to answer your
call 24/7 and offer physician referrals, hospital information, current
ER wait times, and healthcare tips.