We’re Here When You Need Us Most
Having a heart attack or other cardiac emergency is frightening, but from our paramedics to our emergency room teams to our interventional cardiologists, your heart is in excellent hands at Virtua Health.
From the moment you arrive, our emergency treatment teams are ready to take action. At each of our hospitals, our staff will assess your health and determine the severity of your condition. If you are having a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or other cardiac emergency, you have immediate access to the largest and most experienced team of specialists in the region. When treated early, damage to the heart can be minimized—or even prevented.
- Pre-Hospital ECG
The time between the start of a heart attack and treatment is critical to saving lives and preventing heart damage. That’s why Virtua works with local emergency medical service squads and Virtua paramedics to provide electrocardiogram (ECG) information from the site of a call or during transport to the ER. With information on your heart’s function in hand, our emergency department team is ready to begin treatment the moment you arrive, including activating the cardiac catheterization laboratory. Thanks to this technology, we have continued to decrease the “door-to-treatment” time for patients with cardiac emergencies.
Your heart requires a steady supply of blood through the arteries. If a coronary artery becomes narrow or blocked, a procedure called an angioplasty can reopen it to restore the blood flow.
Virtua Health interventional cardiologists perform angioplasties in our state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization labs—also called “cath labs.” Our cath labs are equipped with all-digital cardiovascular imaging systems that allow our interventional cardiologists to see even the smallest blood vessels when diagnosing and treating heart problems.
Most often, the cardiac team uses a catheter tipped with a tiny balloon that can inflate to push plaque to the sides of the blocked artery. Other times, they may need to open the blockage by cutting or burning away the plaque in a procedure called an atherectomy.
Angioplasty results in immediate (full or partial) restoration of blood blow in the artery. Typically, the team also places stents in the treated area.
- Cardiac Surgery
Some patients may require more than angioplasty to improve the blood supply to the heart, resulting in a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). The cardiothoracic (CT or heart) surgery team at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital offers some of the most highly trained and experienced heart surgeons in the nation, specializing in traditional approaches as well as the most advanced, minimally invasive options.
If you or someone you know is having ongoing or severe chest pain, go to the emergency room or call 911.