Heart attack

Often characterized by chest pain, a heart attack means that your heart cannot get enough oxygen because its blood supply is blocked. Geisinger’s emergency team is ready with life-saving angioplasty treatment, which restores blood flow to your heart.

If you or a loved one is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. It is important to get treatment as quickly as possible to prevent damage to the heart muscle.

What you should know about heart attacks:

  • Men and women can experience heart attack symptoms differently. The most common symptoms include:
    • Chest pain in the center or left side of your chest
    • Pain in one or both arms
    • Shortness of breath, with or without chest pain
    • Pain in the neck or jaw, back or shoulders (more common in women)
  • Many heart attacks need to be treated immediately with angioplasty, which opens up the blocked artery and restores the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart. The longer the heart is cut off from oxygen, the more damage the heart attack can do.

Why choose Geisinger for your heart attack care?

  • Fastest heart attack care in the region: We consistently top the national average for "door to balloon" time, the time between your arrival at our hospital and life-saving angioplasty balloon treatment. The quicker you are treated, the less damage to the heart and the better the chance for recovery.
  • Level 1 Heart Attack Program: We partner with emergency ambulance and helicopter services, community hospitals, and angioplasty referral centers. This collaboration means patients receive the fastest treatment available.
  • Specialty in women’s heart health: We have a strong women’s heart health program, including leading-edge research. In addition, all of our doctors are trained to recognize the symptoms of heart attacks in women, which can present differently than in men.

Treatment options

Our heart care team specializes in heart attack care, including:

  • Angioplasty : This minimally invasive procedure opens a blocked artery to help restore blood flow to your heart.
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) : This surgery helps restore blood flow to the heart when the coronary arteries are severely blocked.
  • Heart surgery : Use to treat many heart-related problems and is recommended if medication and other less-invasive treatment have not or cannot help.
  • Pacemakers and defibrillators : These implants regulate abnormal heart rhythms and reduce the risk of heart attack.

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