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Level One Heart Attack Program Treatment Information
Our Level One emergency programs provide rapid treatment that can dramatically increase your chance of a good outcome. Here is a summary of key treatment options by condition:
- Heart attack. Our experts at IU Health Heart & Vascular Care perform the preferred heart attack treatment: percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In this procedure, we open your artery by inflating a balloon placed at the end of a long, thin tube called a catheter. This nonsurgical technique restores the blood supply to the heart. In many cases we also place a mesh tube called a stent in your artery to prevent it from closing again. Some stents have are coated with a medication to prevent scar tissue from forming and causing the artery to narrow again. Research shows that opening a blocked artery within 90 minutes of diagnosis provides the best chance for recovery. Most hospitals are not equipped to perform this treatment.
- Vascular emergency. We perform open surgery to replace part of the aorta with an artificial graft or an endovascular (minimally invasive) procedure to insert a stent graft. In an open surgical replacement, we replace the area of the aneurysm with a cloth-like material. We sew the graft in using stitches. You will be asleep under general anesthesia for this procedure. In a minimally invasive repair, we use a catheter to place a stent-graft in the aneurysm as a reinforcement for the weak section. The stent graft consists of fabric and a metal coil. The procedure requires only a small incision in your groin, and you will receive regional or general anesthesia. Our multidisciplinary team provides a rapid response because urgent care for sudden aortic syndromes can make a major positive difference in your outcome.
- Cardiogenic shock. Sometimes treating the underlying cause of the shock is enough to relieve the problem. For example, opening a blocked vessel helps the heart to work better by restoring blood flow. In other cases, you may need emergency life support, such as extra oxygen or a ventilator. When necessary, we support your heart function using medication and advanced mechanical devices. Technologies include the ventricular assist device (VAD), which consists of a pump to help your heart, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), in which a machine outside the body performs the work of the heart and lungs.
- Esophageal emergency. We use a variety of surgical procedures to repair the esophagus, depending on the specific nature and extent of the problem. Surgery is often necessary to repair esophageal perforation, although in some cases a stent is sufficient to resolve the problem. Our physicians might also drain any fluid that has leaked and administer intravenous antibiotics and fluids to support your recovery.
Level One Heart Attack Program Locations & Physicians
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Level One Heart Attack Program Support Services
At these websites, you can learn more about the conditions that our Level One emergency programs address:
A Sampling of Level One Heart Attack Program Support Services
American Heart Association
This national nonprofit organization offers information, tools and resources related to heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
As a service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus explains the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of esophageal perforation (tearing).
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
This U.S. government website provides an overview of cardiogenic shock.
Developed by the Society for Vascular Surgery, this website contains patient-friendly information on thoracic aortic aneurysm.