Chest Pain Center
St. Joseph Hospital is accredited as a chest pain center with primary PCI by the American College of Cardiology Accreditation Services. This means processes are in place to quickly diagnose and treat chest pain patients. Care may include catheterization, angioplasty or stent placement performed by an interventional cardiologist in the hospital's cardiac cath lab.
In early 2018, St. Joe became the first hospital in Indiana to earn cardiac cath lab with PCI accreditation from the ACC. Staff successfully demonstrated expertise and commitment during an onsite assessment of their ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in this setting.
Heart Attack: Know the Signs
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Most heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. Know the subtle signs and act - before heart damage occurs.
Early Warning Signs
Heart attack signs may be mild or come and go at first. Over time, symptoms and pain intensify.
- Chest pressure, squeezing, aching or burning
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of fullness
- Pain that travels down one or both arms
- Jaw pain
- Excessive fatigue or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Back pain
Instead of chest pain or pressure, some people have:
- A sharp or "knife-like" pain that occurs with coughing or breathing
- Pain that spreads above the jawbone or into the lower body
- Difficult or labored breathing
Men: Normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of the chest.
Women: Symptoms may appear on the right side.
Women may also:
- Feel exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous
- Feel upper back pain that travels into the jaw
- Think stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or an ulcer
- Be less likely to seek immediate medical care, causing more heart damage
Common Risk Factors for Heart Disease
- Family history of cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of physical activity
- Using tobacco products
- Diabetes, metabolic disease or other illnesses
- Additional risks for women include birth control pills; history of pre-eclampsia; gestational diabetes or having a low birth weight baby
Know Your Scores
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and excess weight all contribute to heart disease. Maintaining healthy numbers can help reduce the risk. Here are some general guidelines:
Check: every 2 years
Goal: consistently lower than 130/80
Check: every 5 years
Goal: less than 200 mg/dl; HDL 60 mg/dl
Goal: body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9
Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk factors, scores and personal goals for healthy living.
Sources: American College of Cardiology Accreditation Services; heart.org.