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Call 911 immediately if you think you might be having a heart attack. Eighty-five percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. Getting to the hospital at the earliest sign of an attack is key for a good outcome and quick recovery.

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is a medical emergency. It usually happens when plaque in an artery blocks blood flow to your heart. Without blood, your heart can't get oxygen and heart-muscle cells die quickly.

Symptoms of a heart attack vary, but they often include chest pain or discomfort and shortness of breath.

You're Heart Is in Good Hands with Luminis Health

We provide you and your loved ones with compassionate care and the most advanced heart treatments available. This includes the latest, most minimally invasive procedures for both diagnoses and treatment.

We offer:

  • Emergency life-saving heart attack care. The Maryland Institute of Emergency Medicine Services Systems designates Luminis Health a Certified Intervention Center for emergency heart attack care. This means we're the area's preferred hospital for heart attack care, and you'll get life-saving care within 90 minutes of calling 911. We exceed Maryland state standards for this care.

  • Heart attack treatments recognized by the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline® program recognizes Luminis Health for outstanding performance and care when treating heart attack patients. We're one of only 25% of hospitals in the U.S. qualified to perform emergency cardiac catheterization.

  • A dedicated heart center. Our Zazulia Heart and Vascular Center is an inpatient unit just for heart patients. It features cardiac catheterization labs, a critical care unit and a cardiac rehabilitation center.

  • Nationally recognized care. The American College of Cardiology recognizes Luminis Health for our commitment to hospital care for heart patients. We're one of 212 hospitals in the nation to receive the Platinum Performance Achievement Award for chest pain and heart attack care. And we appear on the 2022 U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Hospitals."

Preventive Care: Reducing Your Risk of a Heart Attack

Being proactive is your most powerful tool in preventing a heart attack. We can help you monitor your heart health and reduce your risk of an attack.

To help prevent a heart attack our heart specialists recommend you:

  • Have a yearly physical so your doctor can check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

  • Don't smoke.

  • Eat a healthy diet.

Heart Attack Diagnosis & Treatments

Our team of heart specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating heart disease at all stages, including heart attacks.

Heart attack tests & screening

Our goal is to treat you as quickly as possible. As soon as you're admitted, we run tests to diagnose or rule out a heart attack, including:

  • An electrocardiogram (EKG). This painless test shows how your heart is beating and whether there's damage from a heart attack or heart disease.

  • Blood tests. We'll do bloodwork to measure proteins released when heart-muscle cells die.

  • Angiography. For this test, a heart specialist injects a contrast dye into a catheter inserted into your blood vessel. The dye helps us see any blocked vessels in your heart on an x-ray.

Heart attack treatments

Early treatment can prevent further damage. We'll discuss all your options and what might be best for your specific case.

Surgical treatments for heart attack

If your heart attack is from a blocked artery, your heart surgeon may suggest:

  • Coronary angioplasty. This minimally invasive procedure can restore blood flow to your heart. Your doctor places a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in your groin or wrist. Next, we thread the catheter to the narrowed or blocked artery in your heart. Once in place, we inflate a tiny balloon at the tip of the catheter to clear the blockage and restore blood flow.

  • Stenting. We may put a small mesh tube called a "stent" in your artery during an angioplasty procedure. The stent helps keep the blood vessel open.

  • Bypass surgery. Your surgeon might recommend this open surgery to improve poor blood flow to your heart. Here, we take a healthy vessel from another part of your body. Then, we connect the healthy vessel to bypass (or go around) the blocked section of the coronary artery. Bypass provides a new route for blood to flow to the heart muscle. It's effective and the repair usually lasts for many years.

Medical treatments for heart attack

We may start some medications as soon as you arrive at the hospital. And we might prescribe other drugs for you to take at home. Medicines for heart attacks can include:

  • Aspirin.

  • Pain medicine.

  • Thrombolytics (clot-busting medicine) to dissolve blood clots blocking arteries.

  • Nitroglycerine or beta-blockers to reduce your heart's workload.

  • Blood thinners.

  • Medicines to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol.

Support, Resources and Events for Heart Attack Survivors

We have cardiac rehabilitation programs and support groups for those who have recently had a heart attack. We also have support groups for caregivers.

Next Steps & Contact

Anne Arundel Medical Center Cardiac Surgery Specialists

Primary Location

2000 Medical Pkwy, Ste 510, Annapolis, MD 21401

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