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Healthwatch 16: Geisinger's Comprehensive Heart Attack Center

Geisinger Medical Center was recently recognized as the first comprehensive heart attack center in the United States.

DANVILLE, Pa. — Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., and heart attacks are one of the ways people die from that.

"The patient starts to feel chest pressure, typically. People will describe it as a squeezing sensation, typically in the center of their chest. It sometimes can move down in the arm, can radiate into the jaw and the back," said Dr. George Ruiz, assistant chief of cardiology for Geisinger.

In addition, signs of a heart attack can include shortness of breath, sweating, and heart palpitations.

Geisinger Medical Center near Danville was recently recognized as the country's first comprehensive heart attack center.

"We can offer full support for the patients when they come in with a heart attack."

Dr. Ruiz says this certification means patients will get the highest level of care as fast as possible.

"It's really a collaboration between getting people from their home to our center quickly so that we can diagnose them, get the artery open, and support them and their family as they go through this journey."

The certification also recognizes Geisinger's partnership with EMS providers.

"If the patient gets really, really sick, we have safety nets that we have built to keep the body moving forward while the heart heals."

Dr. Ruiz says Geisinger was also recognized for offering cardiac rehabilitation in person and virtually to help patients recover.

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