If a patient is experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, we’ll tell the patient to get to the emergency room as quickly as possible for an evaluation. In fact, doctors will often say “time is muscle,” when it comes to heart attacks, and there’s a good reason for that: heart attacks, especially certain kinds of heart attacks, can cause irreparable damage to the heart muscle. Heart muscle damage can cause problems both immediately and down the road, problems like weakened heart muscle function, congestive heart failure, and heart rhythm problems.
For example, during a STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction), the artery causing the heart attack is blocked completely. We want to get patients into the heart cath lab to open up that artery as soon as possible; our goal is….