• The Patient’s Glossary to Common Heart Attack Terms


    Chest pain is one of the leading causes of emergency room visits in the U.S., and it is the most identifiable symptom associated with heart attacks. To better understand the care needed when a heart attack is suspected, take a look at the heart attack terms defined below. When you are familiar with this terminology, you may have a more complete understanding of the care you can expect for a heart attack at West Hills Hospital .


    Angina, more specifically angina pectoris, is a descriptive term for the chest pain that may be present when a heart attack occurs. There are many possible causes for angina, but angina pectoris is specific to restricted blood flow in the heart.


    There are different types of heart attacks, and the most serious is known as ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI. When you explore cardiac care in your community, you may notice that hospital will advertise their STEMI time, which is the time it takes to reestablish blood flow from the time the patient arrives at the hospital. The national guideline for STEMI time is 90 minutes, though West Hills Hospital strives to keep our STEMI receiving times even lower for improved outcomes.


    A heart attack can occur as the result of untreated atherosclerosis, which is a condition that cases the artery walls to harden and lose elasticity. This results in restricted blood flow, which can deprive the heart of oxygen.


    Ischemia describes the loss of blood flow, and subsequent loss of oxygen, to an organ. The cause is usually constriction of the arteries or physical blockages such as blood clots or plaque along the artery walls.

    At West Hills Hospital, you can rest assured knowing that you will have access to complete cardiovascular care 24/7 at the Heart & Vascular Institute. We are an official STEMI Receiving Center and nationally-accredited Chest Pain Center , which means that we are fully equipped to handle cardiac emergencies at a moment’s notice. To learn more about our services or get a physician referral for your heart care, call us at (818) 676-4321. 

  • Why You Should Trust West Hills Hospital for Your Emergency Care


    When you or a loved one is in need of emergency care, you will not have much time to consider where to go for treatment. Fortunately, the decision is easy when you live in West Hills, CA, thanks to the Emergency Department at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center . We strive to maintain higher standards of excellence than the national averages when it comes to ER wait times, STEMI time, and stroke response. With this higher level of care, you can rest assured knowing that your family is in good hands when speed and accuracy matter most for your recovery.

    Newly Expanded Facilities

    West Hills Hospital and Medical Center has recently expanded the emergency facilities to serve the needs of a growing community and further improve upon the quality of care provided in the ER. With helicopter access and expanded services, there is no need to look any further for your emergency care.

    Chest Pain Center Accreditation

    Chest pain is among the leading causes of ER visits, and West Hills Hospital is ready to provide an accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment as an accredited Chest Pain Center and Certified STEMI Center offering lifesaving care in patients suffering from heart attacks. We are also an Approved Stroke Center.

    Low Average Wait Times

    The CDC reports a national average ER wait time of 1 hour, but at West Hills Hospital, wait times are consistently much lower. West Hills residents can stay up-to-date with current wait times online or by texting ER to 23000 with updates available every 30 minutes based on a four-hour average.

    To further explore the emergency services offered at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, visit our website . You can also reach us by calling (818) 676-4321 to speak with one of our registered nurses for answers to your healthcare questions or physician referrals.

  • What to Expect in Cardiac Rehabilitation


    Following a heart attack, cardiac surgery, or other major cardiac conditions, your doctor will likely recommend cardiac rehabilitation as the next step in your care. Cardiac rehabilitation is a highly customized program in which patients work with a coordinated team of physicians, nurses, dieticians, and physical therapists to reduce the risk of further stress on the heart and promote a more active lifestyle. This article will explore more of the details of cardiac rehabilitation so you can learn what to expect as you get on your feet after a heart-related hospital visit.

    Multi-Phase Care

    At West Hills Hospital, cardiac rehab takes place in three phases. Phase I is an inpatient program that takes place in the hospital as the rehabilitation staff closely monitors initial recovery and exercise. Phase II is an outpatient monitored exercise program, and Phase III is an ongoing support group and gym available to recovered patients seeking additional resources for their new heart-healthy lifestyles.

    Increasing Physical Activity

    Throughout rehabilitation, a primary goal will be to get you up and moving with a carefully designed and monitored exercise program that will strengthen your heart without putting too much stress on your body.

    Dietary Planning

    A balanced diet will be essential for a complete recovery and the energy needed to carry out your physical activity plan. Your doctor and a registered dietician may work with you to design a diet that will help you achieve your goals in rehabilitation and promote a healthier future.

    Cardiac Risk Management

    In addition to diet and exercise, cardiac rehabilitation may address other health conditions and habits that may be contributing to cardiac health issues. Consistent communication throughout the rehabilitation program will facilitate personalized care that is tuned to your unique needs.

    For a closer look at the heart health services offered at West Hills Hospital through the West Hills Regional Heart and Vascular Institute , visit our website or call us at (818) 676-4321. We provide full-service cardiac care 24/7 to support the needs of the West Hills community with the most advanced treatment technologies available. 

  • Breaking Misconceptions About Organ Donations and Transplants


    Organ donation is one of the greatest gifts a person may give, but many people are hesitant to enroll on the donor registry due to common misconceptions about the organ donation process. When you choose to become an organ donor, you have the potential to save several lives and change many more through the transplantation of lifesaving organs and other tissues. Below you can see the truth behind some of the most prevalent organ donation myths to help you make the decision to become a donor.

    Myth: There are strict requirements for organ donors

    Some people think that having a chronic illness or being of a certain age may disqualify them for organ donation, but almost anyone can enroll on the state donor registry. The assessment of viable organs will take place at the time of death, regardless of age or medical history.

    Myth: Lifesaving care may be compromised for organ donors

    There is an idea that being in the donor registry will reduce the quality of lifesaving care in the event of a medical emergency. In reality, emergency and trauma physicians rarely know whether or not a patient is an organ donor until after death. Therefore, the quality of care will remain the same.

    Myth: Organ donation is not supported by religious groups

    Most major religions actually condone organ and tissue donation and view it as an act of charity. However, if you are uncertain about the views of your church, you might speak with your spiritual advisor before choosing to become a donor.

    West Hills Hospital and Medical Center can provide more insight on the gift of organ donation through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4321. You can also visit us online to explore our full range of clinical services offered in West Hills.