Cardiovascular Services

Frequently Asked Questions

What is door-to-balloon time?

The time that it takes for patients with certain types of heart attacks to receive treatment plays a key role in their survival. Door-to-balloon time refers to the window of opportunity for receiving life-saving medical treatment following a heart attack. This is why it is important to call 911 as soon as symptoms start.

If a heart attack patient can begin receiving treatment within 90 minutes from the time that his/her symptoms start, heart damage can be potentially reversed or further prevented. At EMHC, our median door-to-balloon time is 60 minutes.

How are the signs of heart attack different in men versus women?

Though chest pain is the most common symptom of heart attacks in both men and women, men often experience the following:

  • Discomfort in one or both arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, lightheadedness, nausea or sweating
  • Abdominal discomfort that may feel like indigestion

While women may experience some of the same symptoms as men during a heart attack, typical female symptoms include the following:

  • Back pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Cold sweat

If you think that you are experiencing these symptoms, call 911.

What is interventional cardiology?

Interventional cardiology is a branch of cardiology that deals specifically with the catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases. Examples of interventional procedures include angiography, angioplasty and stent implantation.

What are minimally invasive cardiac procedures?

A minimally invasive procedure provides access to the heart through a small incision and does not require opening up the chest or bypass to a heart-lung machine. This allows for quicker patient recovery times and offers surgeons a better view of some parts of the heart than in open heart surgery.

Do we do open heart surgery at EMHC?

Elmhurst Memorial is a nationally recognized leader in the treatment of heart and vascular disease offering a full-service cardiovascular program. We perform more than 200 open heart surgeries each year.

What is the difference between heart failure and heart attack?

Congestive heart failure or CHF occurs when the heart can no longer pump out an adequate amount of blood to the body because the muscle is weak. This does not mean that the heart has stopped. A heart attack or myocardial infarction is when the blood cannot get to the heart due to blockages.

How important is it to look for quality indicators at a hospital?

It is extremely important to look for a hospital's quality indicators of care when considering medical treatment. Performance data is available on numerous websites that can help consumers make well-informed decisions on facilities to use for heart attack care and heart failure. Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare recently scored one hundred percent for procedures related to heart attacks and heart failure—well above the national average and in some cases, the state average.

Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Network

This site is part of the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare network of Web sites, which covers a variety of topics using the same philosophy: When it comes to medical care, we know that you have a lot of options. And we want you to know that you're more than a patient to us. You're an individual. We would appreciate the opportunity to provide you with state-of-the-art medical care and down-to-earth, personalized attention.

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