heart care

FAQ Heart Treatment

Frequently asked questions about heart treatment

Q. What should I do if I think I'm having a heart attack?

A. If you have never experienced this type of chest pain or discomfort before, take one aspirin and call 911.

IMPORTANT: Do not drive yourself to the medical center or have someone bring you. This can use up valuable time during which your condition could worsen. Call 911.

Q. How long can I expect to wait before being treated for chest pain in the emergency room?

A. Chest pain patients are given high priority in the ER at Adventist Health Glendale.

Q. If my doctor is not on staff at Adventist Health and I am admitted through the ER, will they be contacted?

A. Yes, at your request. You will be asked to sign a release of medical records, and a medical center staff member will fax this permission to your physician or your previous medical center to get your records.

Q. How long will I have to stay in the hospital after a heart attack?

A. Some people go home the same day they have an angiogram, depending on the results of the test. Others may stay overnight for closer observation. Still others will remain in the medical center for further intervention if their condition worsens. These interventions might include angioplasty, the implantation of a stent (a wire mesh that holds the artery open after angioplasty) or open-heart surgery. No matter what your condition or needed treatment, we’ll keep you informed every step of the way what to expect.

Q. If I must undergo open-heart surgery, how long will I be in the hospital?

A. The average length of stay after open heart surgery is five days. If your surgery is planned and scheduled, you will first have a series of tests and preparations on an outpatient basis. Then, you will enter the medical center the evening before surgery. Before you fall asleep that night, you will receive last-minute preparations and instructions.

After your surgery, you will spend one day in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) under close observation by our highly trained team of physicians and specialists. After that, you will be transferred to a cardiac telemetry unit, where you will remain until you are discharged to your home.

The nursing staff at Adventist Health are committed to your health and well-being and are skilled in their profession. They will provide education and help you to recover from your operation so you can resume living an enjoyable, productive life.

Q. Does my insurance cover all the costs this type of illness will incur?

A. Insurance coverage varies widely, even among customers of the same company. Much depends on your specific policy and what types and levels of coverage you have selected. If you have questions about coverage that you cannot understand after reading your insurance manual, contact your company's benefits specialist (usually in the human resources department) or your insurance company.