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Certified Chest Pain Center

Dallas Medical Center has received Chest Pain Center Certification from The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization which is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. To earn and maintain The Gold Seal of Approval® from The Joint Commission, an organization undergoes an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years (Laboratories are surveyed every two years).

The certification recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of care for chest pain patients. The certification evaluates how organizations use clinical outcomes and performance measures to identify opportunities to improve care, as well as to educate and prepare patients and their caregivers for discharge.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

When you're experiencing a heart attack, every moment counts. The problem is that most heart attacks aren't like the sudden ones you see in the movies - many start slowly, with discomfort, leaving individuals to wait too long before getting help.

Here are some signs that could mean you're experiencing a heart attack:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Remember, men and women are a little different when it comes to symptoms. Like men, the most common heart attack symptom for a woman is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other less common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Learn the signs, but remember, even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, tell a doctor about your symptoms and have it checked out. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives - maybe your own. Don't wait to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number.

If you are experiencing chest pain or think you may be having a heart attack, please call 9-1-1.

Hands-Only CPR

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 EMS-assisted out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year in the US. Approximately 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die, but CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival.

Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as efficient as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work, or in public. To learn more about Hands-Only CPR, please watch the videos below or click here.