Medical Update: Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack
When you're experiencing chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack, going to the hospital right away is the first step to making sure you survive.
At Laredo Medical Center, they say having an accredited chest pain center means they focus on quality of care.
A visit to the E.R. can be scary for anyone, but critical in getting the help you need in time.
"It was quick, it was real fast, everybody was very courteous, very professional and I know that this hospital saved my wife's life, " says John Peter Montalvo, who took his wife to LMC.
He says taking his wife to the hospital was his first priority when she started showing symptoms of a heart attack, even though she thought her condition was nothing serious.
"So I went around and I stopped at the emergency door, and I said you have to get out, let's get in there, and let's go to the emergency room, that's it. It was not an order, but it was life and death."
"Time is muscle, cardiac muscle, and the sooner the the patient can get to us the sooner we know about the patient, the faster we can treat the patient and get them upstairs to our cardiac cath lab and have our cardiologist work on them," Says Andres Arreguin, with Laredo Medical Center.
He says it's the tough accreditation process that the hospital goes through, that determines their level of care.
"It's a commitment that we've made to our community, it's something that we do for the patients. It's for them; it's always to improve their care. We want to make sure that they receive the best care possible."
The hospital goes through the accreditation process every three years and they say they are always looking to raise their standards.
"We want to make sure if they come in with a catastrophic event like a heart attack, we want to make sure that they're able to walk out of this hospital in a better condition than they were when they came in."
Which is what happened for Consuelo Montalvo.
Her arriving to the E.R. quickly, helped doctors treat her faster, which in turn led to a positive outcome.
"If you get all the symptoms go straight to the emergency room because it's something that's happening in your body that can be a stroke or a heart attack."
And even years after Consuelo's scare her husband agrees.
"I would encourage each and everyone to check themselves and if you feel anything wrong come straight to the emergency room because life and death can be a few minutes apart."
"These three years have made me see and realize all the things that Chelo would have lost if she would have passed away."