John Muir Health offers rapid, thorough care to patients complaining of chest pain or experiencing heart attack symptoms. Located in both of our emergency departments, our chest pain centers are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Both John Muir Health's hospitals are accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
National studies have shown that prompt and appropriate care can increase heart attack survival rates and reduce hospital stays for low-risk patients. To speed treatment and help ensure the best outcomes for our patients, our chest pain center team is notified by the paramedics when a chest pain or heart attack patient is on the way. Additionally, our patient evaluation includes a rapid assessment, an electrocardiogram (often done in the field by paramedics), and a blood test that measures heart muscle damage. Patients are also observed on a heart monitor for arrhythmias and other abnormalities.
If the patient is having a heart attack, he or she is immediately taken to our cardiac catheterization laboratory. To prevent complications, the Chest Pain Center team opens the vessels as quickly as possible and restores blood flow to the heart by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
We strive to ensure that our "door-to-balloon" time (from arrival to vessel-opening) averages 60 minutes or less—well below the 90-minute benchmark recommended by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
Know the Warning Signs
- The most common heart attack symptoms for men and women are chest pain or discomfort, arm pain or tingling, back pain, and jaw pain.
- Women are more likely than men to experience other symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, clamminess, and fatigue.
Call 911 if symptoms persist for more than five minutes.