How can I find out if a hospital does angioplasty?

Angioplasty can save lives when it is used to stop a heart attack that is in progress. It is a minimally invasive procedure to reopen blocked arteries and can quickly restore blood flow to the heart. During angioplasty, a thin tube called a catheter is inserted through a puncture site in the skin and guided through a blood vessel to the site of the blockage. Then a tiny balloon on the tip of the catheter is opened and closed by the treating physician to push the material causing the blockage out of the way against the artery walls.
If you want to find out if a local hospital can treat heart attacks with angioplasty (when appropriate), you need to learn if it is a STEMI-receiving center. STEMI stands for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, which is the electrocardiogram (EKG) diagnosis of a heart attack.
If your hospital has been designated as a STEMI-receiving center, that means the hospital will be equipped and staffed to treat blockages very quickly. If a heart attack is treated quickly – ideally within 90 minutes of the patient’s arrival at the hospital - survival without disability is much greater. This is because the longer your heart goes without oxygen-rich blood during a heart attack, the greater the risk for heart muscle damage or death.
If you suspect you may be having a heart attack, be sure to communicate your concern to the emergency responders. These professionals are specially trained and also know which hospitals in your area are STEMI-receiving centers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.