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Methodist Healthcare

Heart attack

A heart attack is an emergency medical condition that occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked or stopped by a buildup of plaque, excess fat and cholesterol. This can be fatal, so you should always seek emergency medical care if you think you are experiencing a heart attack.

Emergency cardiac treatment in San Antonio

When you are experiencing a cardiac event, it is important to have access to experts who can deliver the care you need, fast.

At Methodist Healthcare, we understand how vital it is to recognize the signs of a heart attack, as well as the necessary treatments for a proper recovery. Several of our facilities are Accredited Chest Pain Centers, meaning our teams are equipped to stop a heart attack within 90 minutes, a standard set by the American Heart Association.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Using a variety of methods, our teams can open the blocked artery, restore blood flow to the heart and help you recover. You can receive this award-winning cardiac care at the following Methodist Healthcare locations:

In addition, Methodist Hospital, Methodist Hospital Metropolitan and Methodist Hospital Northeast are recipients of the Lifeline® Bronze Receiving Center Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for their outstanding care of patients with severe heart attacks.

Signs of a heart attack

Sometimes, heart attack warning signs can be missed because they may be minor or explained away. However, it is important to seek emergency care if you experience:

  • Chest pain or discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes
  • Cold sweat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Pain or discomfort in your arm, back, neck or jaw
  • Shortness of breath

Advanced heart attack treatment

If you are experiencing a heart attack, we are proud to offer alternative treatments that offer less stress to your body and mind. These include devices, such as catheter-based heart pumps that pull blood from the left ventricle through an inlet area near the tip of the device, then expel blood from the catheter into the ascending aorta.

As a minimally invasive procedure, the device moves 2.5 liters of blood per minute, assisting the left ventricle during procedures involving temporary coronary blockages that would otherwise be too taxing on the already weak heart.

The pump can be inserted via a standard catheterization procedure (in the cardiac catheterization lab) through the femoral artery in the leg, into the ascending aorta, across the valve and into the left ventricle.

Heart attack recovery and rehabilitation

We offer cardiac rehabilitation for patients who are recovering from a heart attack. Patients receive individualized care that includes diagnostic testing, education and exercise. For more information about our cardiac rehab services, please call Methodist Heart and Lung Institute Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center at (210) 575-8235.

"My husband saved my life with Hands-Only CPR."

Sarah went into full cardiac arrest and was saved by her husband with hands only CPR. Remember, hands-only CPR saves lives and is easy to do. Go to to find a hands-only CPR training event near you.

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