heart institute

Early Heart Attack Care

Early Heart Attack Care in Bakersfield

Understand the early signs of a heart attack

Did you know that heart attacks have beginnings? These beginnings occur in more than 50 percent of patients. Most importantly, if recognized in time, these "beginnings" can be treated before the heart is damaged.

Here are some alarming statistics:

  • Coronary heart disease accounts for one in seven deaths in the U.S., killing more than 360,000 people a year
  • About 790,000 people in the U.S. have heart attacks each year, and of those about 114,000 will die
  • About every 40 seconds, another American will have a heart attack

Early heart attack care

Adventist Health Bakersfield's nationally accredited Chest Pain Center has partnered with the Society of Chest Pain Centers in support of early heart attack care.

Early heart attack care is comprised of three things:

  • A campaign intended to educate everyone as to the early symptoms of a heart attack in order to prevent the heart attack from ever occurring; preventing the heart attack prevents heart damage
  • A plea to the public to be responsible, not only for themselves, but for those around them who may be experiencing early heart attack symptoms and to help them obtain immediate treatment
  • A public education program that concentrates on the benefits of receiving early treatments and activating emergency medical services

Unlike most programs that promote recognition of the signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack, the early heart attack care initiative encourages early recognition when symptoms may be mild. For the 50 percent of people experiencing these symptoms, the heart attack can be prevented with early treatment — before any of the damage to the heart can occur.

Early symptoms

The early symptoms of a heart attack may include:

  • Nausea
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Chest pressure, squeezing or discomfort
  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of fullness

It's important to remember that people may or may not experience any or all of these symptoms.

What you should do

Whether you're a nurse, teacher or parent, committing to three simple steps can help reduce the debilitating effects of an unnoticed heart attack.

You should:

  • Learn the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Share early heart attack care with others.
  • Take the early heart attack care oath: “I understand that heart attacks have beginnings that may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain, and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if it happens to anyone I know, I will call 911 or activate our emergency medical services.”

Hands-only CPR

Learn the 7 basic steps to administer hands-only CPR.

For more information about heart disease and prevention, visit www.scpcp.org and click “EHAC.”