Mayo Clinic Health System's Emergency Department can assess your situation immediately. There, highly skilled and expertly trained emergency staff will perform tests to see if your pain is being caused by a heart attack. Within minutes, you'll be given an EKG and be evaluated by a physician. If you are having a heart attack, lifesaving treatment will begin immediately.
Mayo Clinic Health System continually monitors its response times to ensure consistency and efficiency. The ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, or STEMI, program is geared to quickly transfer and manage patients who are having a STEMI heart attack.
This type of heart attack suggests that a main artery has closed, and urgent treatment has been shown to improve survival and minimize heart damage. With one call, hospitals can activate transfer arrangements, and dedicated cardiac catheterization staff will immediately respond to ensure that you receive the most efficient and best care possible.
If the cause of your pain is uncertain, you'll remain under observation and be further evaluated to determine the cause and significance of your symptoms.
Heart attack warning signs
A heart attack occurs when arteries supplying your heart with blood and oxygen become blocked. With each passing minute, more tissue is deprived of oxygen, and this tissue deteriorates or dies. Restoring blood flow within the first hour, when most damage occurs, is critical to survival.
Symptoms of a heart attack can include, but are not limited to:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness or squeezing pain the center of your chest, lasting more than a few minutes.
- Pain or discomfort in your shoulders, jaw, neck or arms.
- Lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
Whether you suspect a heart attack or think it's just indigestion, act immediately. Be aware that you may not have all of these symptoms, and symptoms can come and go.
If you believe you or someone else may be experiencing a heart attack:
- Call 911 first.
- Sit quietly or lie down if you are feeling faint. Breathe slowly and deeply.
- Take a single aspirin tablet, unless you are allergic to it.