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HCA Midwest Health

Heart attack

A heart attack is an emergency medical condition that occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked or stopped by a buildup of plaque, excess fat and cholesterol. This can be fatal, so you should always seek emergency medical care if you think you are experiencing a heart attack.

Emergency cardiac care in Kansas City

If you or a loved one have had a heart attack, or were told you’re at risk, the right care at the right time can save your life and prevent further damage.

At HCA Midwest Health, we understand the gravity of a heart attack. Time and access matter most in these situations, and five of our Kansas City hospitals are accredited by the American College of Cardiology as Accredited Chest Pain Centers. At these facilities, our top priority is providing efficient, effective and coordinated care for the best possible outcomes for you or your loved one.

How healthy is your heart?

Understanding your heart health is a valuable preventive care tool. Take our assessment to determine your risk of heart disease and next steps to take.

Understanding your heart health is a valuable preventive care tool. Take our assessment to determine your risk of heart disease and next steps to take.

Our heart attack programs

Heart attacks are a sign of severe heart disease. Symptoms can be mild or severe, strike suddenly or build over time. We work to both stop heart attacks while they're in progress, and prevent ones from occurring in the future.

Signs of a heart attack

The most common symptom in both men and women experiencing severe heart disease is chest pain, but not everyone who has a heart attack experiences it. Chest pain can feel different and vary from person to person, as many think they have indigestion or some other minor ailment. Signs of a heart attack can include:

  • Anxiety, or a sense of dread
  • Chest discomfort, pressure, ache, burning or fullness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the back, jaw, and other upper body areas (the pain might go away and come back)
  • Severe cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Unusually fast heart rate
  • Weakness or fatigue

It’s not uncommon for women to have no chest pain. Many women have more subtle symptoms such as:

  • Light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the jaw or upper back
  • Shortness of breath

Lifesaving emergency heart care

A heart attack is an emergency, and treatment is time-sensitive. Your chance of survival dramatically increases if the blockage is cleared within 90 minutes, so understanding the signs of a heart attack, calling 911 or immediately heading to the closest emergency room (ER) is absolutely critical. Trying to self-diagnose can be dangerous and very costly.

We have 10 ERs throughout Kansas City, including the largest Accredited Chest Pain Center network in the Kansas City area, ensuring that you are never far from comprehensive emergency care. We strive to exceed the national quality goal of a door-to-balloon time in under 90 minutes. When that time is achieved, the chances of surviving a heart attack increase by more than 35 percent.

Heart attack treatment

At our core, we believe that you deserve the best possible cardiac care at our hospitals and emergency rooms. We use proven chest pain management procedures and best practices to save time, and ensure you receive the quality and timely care you need.

Our network includes five Accredited Chest Pain Centers that offer emergency heart care 24/7, with dedicated cardiologists performing life-saving angioplasties in our advanced cardiac catheterization labs.

Depending on your condition, other immediate treatments may include:

  • Angioplasty — This is a catheter-based procedure where a tiny balloon is expanded to open narrowed or blocked arteries in your heart and improve blood flow.
  • Bypass grafting — Commonly called a bypass, this type of heart surgery uses an artery or vein from another part of your body to go around the blockage.
  • Clot-busting medicines — Also called thrombolytic medicines, clot busters dissolve a blood clot blocking an artery.
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Not all chest pain feels the same

Chest pain is one of the most commonly known symptoms of a heart attack. But, many times people don’t experience the sudden, crushing pain they expect.

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