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San Joaquin Community Hospital Promotes Early Heart Attack Awareness

Heart Health

Did you know that heart attacks have beginnings? These beginnings occur in over 50 percent of patients. Most importantly, if recognized in time, these "beginnings" can be treated before the heart is damaged. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in America, and there many alarming statistics that illustrate the uphill battle. 

  • Heart disease caused approximately 1 of every 6 deaths in the United States in 2006.
  • In 2011, an estimated 785,000 Americans will have a first-time heart attack, and an estimated 470,000 will have a repeat heart attack.
  • Every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and every minute, someone will die of one.

As a Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center, San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) is dedicated to educating our community on the importance of recognizing a heart attack in its earliest stages. The Chest Pain Center has partnered with the Society of Chest Pain Centers in support of Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC). EHAC is 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 EHAC 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. 

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. Whether you’re a nurse, teacher, or parent; understanding the early signs of a heart attack – which can occur days or weeks before the actual heart attack – is the most effective way to fight heart disease. 

SJCH is the only hospital between Los Angeles and San Francisco to have both a Nationally Accredited Chest Pain Center and a Nationally Certified Stroke Center under one roof.