When Chest Pain Occurs, Dial…Don’t Drive

Each year, 1.2 million Americans will suffer a cardiac emergency. About one third of these patients will die before they reach the hospital for one critical reason: A delay in receiving crucial medical treatment. February is heart month, and the physicians and colleagues of the Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois network of community hospitals are working to reduce this statistic and improve heart health awareness by letting patients know: “It’s About Time – Always Dial, Never Drive.”

When it comes to heart health, every second counts. By dialing 911, you can begin to receive diagnosis and treatment while traveling to the hospital and ensure top heart experts are informed of your specific condition and ready for your arrival. Saving this time can mean the difference between a treatable condition and irreversible heart damage – and even between life or death.

Patients in the southern Illinois region have access to the highest quality heart care right in their own community hospitals, thanks to Prairie Heart Institute’s network of community hospitals at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland. Prairie Heart Institute, a nationally recognized leader in heart care, connects hospitals and emergency responders to accelerate care when it matters most. Hospitals participating in the network put in place the top protocols to promote rapid treatment for heart attack patients, allowing them to provide the fastest and highest level of heart care in their area.

The doctors of the Prairie Heart Institute have been nationally recognized for their speed in diagnosing and treating patients experiencing a heart attack.

Research shows that many Americans wait two hours or more before seeking medical attention for heart attack symptoms, and far too many heart attack patients drive themselves or have a family member drive them to the hospital.

Every heart attack is different, but common symptoms include pressure in the chest or arms and shortness of breath. When you experience these symptoms, or feel you may be having a heart attack, time is critical.

Take steps now to be aware of the warning signs of a heart attack and discuss a plan with your family to dial 911 right away if these symptoms occur. Placing that call saves time that can be better spent diagnosing, stabilizing and treating your condition.

For more information about the Prairie Heart Institute in your area, visit thedoctorsofprairie.com or the web site of one of these four HSHS Southern Illinois Division hospitals below:

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital at steliz.org

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese at stjoebreese.com

HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville at hshsholyfamily.org

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland at stjosephshighland.org

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