Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Why is it Important to Act Quick if you Might be having a Heart Attack?

It's important to act quickly in the event of a heart attack It's important to act quickly in the event of a heart attack

If you think you or a loved one might be suffering a heart attack, it’s critical to act quickly.

“Time is important because time is muscle,” said Dr. Michael Lipinski, an interventional cardiologist with Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.

The quicker you can get medical care, the better.

“The sooner that you can restore blood flow to that area of the heart, the less damage that will incur to the heart and therefore help improve the outcome of those patients,” noted Dr. Lipinski.

Heart attacks occur when the arteries of the heart are blocked by plaque. The national goal is to have doctors open the artery in less than 90 minutes. But at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, doctors are unblocking the path, on average, in around 50 minutes.

“We typically try to reduce the amount of time that it takes for the person to have restoration of blood flow to the heart,” said Dr. Lipinski.

In addition to quick action, being closely followed after a heart attack is also key to overall positive outcomes and getting back to your activities as quickly as possible.

“It’s important not only to open up the artery as quickly as possible, but continued medical care following opening the artery is essential and therefore close follow-up with cardiology is critical following an initial heart attack,” noted Dr. Lipinski.

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA. If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

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To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

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