A heart attack is a medical emergency
At Novant Health, we’re dedicated to providing life-saving heart attack care, when and where you need it. Our nationally recognized chest pain centers and highly skilled, specially trained physicians and staff can quickly pinpoint your condition and use the latest treatment methods to provide you with the best possible outcome and the shortest possible recovery time. Don't ignore symptoms or warning signs of a possible heart attack!
Classic heart attack warning signs
You can help ensure your safety and the safety of your family and friends by knowing the warning signs:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
- Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck or arms
- Chest discomfort with light-headedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath
If you are experiencing warning signs of a heart attack, call
Less common heart attack warning signs:
- Atypical chest pain, stomach or abdominal pain
- Nausea or dizziness (without chest pain)
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing (without chest pain)
- Unexplained anxiety, weakness or fatigue
- Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness
Chest pain centers
Our accredited chest pain centers are ready to provide rapid-response treatment in the event that you or a loved one experience chest pain or any other heart attack warning sign. Using advanced diagnostic tools, our team works quickly to determine whether or not you are having a heart attack. If you are, you will be taken immediately to a catheterization lab, where we will open the blockage and stop the heart attack in its tracks.
Our heart attack patients have quality outcomes. That's because we focus on quality in everything that we do. We compare our heart and vascular care to that of other hospitals across the country to ensure that we are practicing medicine at the highest-possible level. In many cases, we are leading the way on a national scale.
We participate in statewide initiatives to improve the care of heart attack victims in North Carolina. Our care of heart attack patients exceeds national standards and serves as a model for others. Mission Lifeline, a project of the American Heart Association (AHA), is tackling heart attack care across the country. According to the AHA, a person having a heart attack needs to have blocked arteries reopened within 90 minutes to have the best chance of preserving the heart muscle and ensuring a full recovery. At Novant Health, our median time is 68 minutes.
For women, the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can be very different than those for men – most women aren't aware of that. According to the AHA, fewer than 8 percent of women view heart disease as being a major threat to a woman's health. Here are the facts every woman should know:
- Many times, women having a heart attack don't have classic signs. They may experience abdominal or mid-back pain, jaw pain, indigestion or extreme fatigue rather than radiating chest pain.
- Most women – more than 50 percent – don't realize that smoking will lower the age at which they might have a heart attack.
- Women with risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes are 2.5 to 3 times more likely to die from sudden cardiac arrest.
Chest pain centers – Our accredited chest pain centers offer the most advanced diagnostic tools, rapid response treatments, and highly skilled cardiac physicians, who aim to identify a heart attack quickly and stop it in its tracks. Our heart attack care consistently ranks in the top 10 percent in the nation, making Novant Health one of the best places you can go for life-saving heart attack care.
Novant Health was one of the first in the Charlotte region to open a chest pain center in its emergency department to diagnose and treat heart attacks. Our staff is specially trained to recognize heart attacks at the earliest sign and has the latest technology for treating heart attacks.
By coming to one of our chest pain emergency departments at the first sign of a heart attack, you can significantly improve your chance for survival and a healthy recovery.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Novant Health facility in your area.