Heart Attack and Stroke

Perry offers immediate response to heart attacks and strokes

cartoon image of man holding chest where heart isWhen you think you or someone around you is experiencing a potential heart attack or stroke, there is no time to waste. Perry Memorial Hospital understands the urgency and will take all immediate steps necessary. All myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and strokes require immediate medical attention.

What is a STEMI?

An ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) is a major heart attack during which one of the main arteries is blocked, preventing blood from flowing properly to the heart. A STEMI requires aggressive treatment in a timely manner to prevent permanent heart damage. Treatment aims to restore circulation to the heart. 

What do the STEMI statistics say?

  • Almost 250,000 Americans experience STEMI, the deadliest form of heart attack, each year.

  • Thirty percent of STEMI patients fail to receive percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or thrombolytic therapy.

  • Of those who receive PCI, only 40 percent are treated within the first medical contact-to-device time frame of 90 minutes, recommended by the American Heart Association.

  • Of those who receive thrombolytic therapy, fewer than half are treated within the recommended door-to-needle time frame of 30 minutes.

  • Seventy percent of those patients who aren’t eligible for thrombolytic therapy fail to receive PCI, the only other option to restore blood flow to blocked arteries.

(Source: American Heart Association)

What is Perry’s role in treating STEMIs?

Perry Memorial Hospital is a regional STEMI referral hospital, a vital link in the lifeline for heart attack patients. As a critical access hospital, Perry follows the STEMI System of Care – in which Emergency Department physicians and nursing staff coordinate care with the local EMS personnel, where quality and timely patient care is the top priority. Perry follows the 30-minute protocol of door-to-needle time frame. Patients will receive prompt diagnosis and transfer protocol via helicopter or ambulance to one of our regional partners, OSF Peoria or OSF Rockford.

With strokes, act FAST

Strokes occur when the brain is not receiving the blood it needs. The exact symptoms vary depending on which area of the brain is affected. Strokes often affect only the left or only the right side of the brain.

Note the time of the first symptom — it’s vital and will affect treatment decisions. Call 9-1-1 immediately!  EMS personnel are able to judge the situation, boosting the chance to receive immediate care. Potentially life-saving medication can be administered within three hours of the sudden symptom onset to reverse ischemic stroke.FAST graphic

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

Symptoms may include:

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side

  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes

  • Problems walking or staying balanced or coordinated

  • Dizziness

  • Severe headache that comes on for no reason

How can the severity be lessened?

To lower the chances of brain damage, disability or death, ACT FAST.

If you have stroke symptoms, Perry Emergency Department physicians and nursing staff will perform a rapid assessment, send you for a CT scan and expedite your results. Once a stroke is confirmed, the physician and nursing staff work together to initiate an IV and administer the clot-busting medication. They will also prepare you for rapid transfer to one of our receiving facilities where you may receive additional interventions.  

What if I think I am having a heart attack or stroke?

Call 9-1-1 immediately!