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Whole Hearted Care Not all chest pain signals you are experiencing a heart attack, but medical professionals agree, you should never ignore or dismiss chest pain, whatever the cause.

Pictured from left are representatives of the heart care team at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System who demonstrate expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain: Nicole Fant, MSN, RN, SCRN, previous RN program manager — chest pain; Renae Temples, RN, cath lab clinical nurse specialist; Justin Saporito, M.D., medical director — cath lab and chest pain program; Louise Thornell, PhD, MsBA, RN, NE-B, VP/ chief nursing officer; Carla Trissel, RN, emergency department; and Jason Harris, M.D., emergency services medical director.

Not all chest pain signals you are experiencing a heart attack, but medical professionals agree, you should never ignore or dismiss chest pain, whatever the cause.

More than 730,000 Americans suffer from heart attacks each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely to have atypical symptoms.

Other heart attack symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • cold sweat
  • fainting
  • heartburn-like feeling
  • nausea or vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • sudden dizziness
  • tingling or discomfort in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw
  • unusual tiredness

Chest Pain Accreditation

The regional leader in heart care services, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System holds Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), a recognition awarded by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients with chest pain. Based on rigorous on-site evaluation, the accreditation re-enforces our staff’s proven ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.

Primary PCI, also known as coronary angioplasty, is a nonsurgical procedure that opens narrowed or blocked coronary arteries to relieve symptoms of heart disease or reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack, an extremely important component of a complete heart care program.

“CHRISTUS St. Michael has demonstrated its commitment to providing the Texarkana region with excellent heart care,” says Phillip D. Levy, M.D., FACC, chair of the ACC Accreditation Management Board. “Hospitals that have earned this accreditation have proven to be exceptionally capable when treating patients with heart attack symptoms and have primary PCI available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.”

Excellent Patient Care

Patients receive primary PCI treatment sooner at accredited hospitals like CHRISTUS St. Michael who have streamlined their systems from admission to evaluation to diagnosis and treatment, all the way through to post-discharge care — even providing recommendations and assistance in patient lifestyle changes.

“Because we meet these nationally recognized standards of care, CHRISTUS St. Michael has formal agreements with other facilities that regularly refer heart attack patients to our facility for primary PCI,” says Louise Thornell, PhD, MsBA, RN, NE-B, VP/chief nursing officer.

In addition, CHRISTUS St. Michael provides the region’s only cardiovascular surgery program and electrophysiology lab within a 75-mile radius.

What’s Your Real Heart Age? Even if you aren’t aware of any heart issues, the sooner you take care of your heart, the longer it will take care of you. Visit MyRealHeartAge.com and take your free risk assessment.