Survive, Don't Drive

If you think you are experiencing a heart attack, your first decision can save your life. Call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to drive yourself or a loved one to the hospital. Survive, don’t drive.

During a heart attack, every second counts. The longer the heart is deprived of oxygen and medical treatment delayed, the higher the risk of damage to heart muscle or death.

  • Driving yourself to the hospital not only risks delays in diagnosis and life-saving treatments, but you also risk endangering yourself and others should you lose consciousness behind the wheel.
  • As soon as paramedics arrive, treatment begins, saving critical time and preventing damage to heart muscle.
  • While en route to the hospital, your condition will be relayed to Our Lady of the Lake’s specialized heart alert team, who is able to prepare for your arrival – allowing you to bypass the Emergency Room and receive immediate treatment.
  • We are a Cycle IV Chest Pain Accreditation hospital – the highest level achievable – which means the most advanced quality care for heart attacks in the region is available here.
  • Our Lady of the Lake is the leader in treatment for heart attack patients with the fastest door-to-balloon treatment time – an average of 40 minutes compared to the national average of 90 – providing better outcomes for patients.

Symptoms of Heart Attack
Know the symptoms of a heart attack so you are prepared:

  • Chest pain
  • Discomfort or pain in other areas, such as one or both arms, the neck, jaw, back or stomach
  • Abdominal discomfort that may feel like heartburn
  • Shortness of breath, nausea or lightheadedness
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue

If you experience or witness any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. The most important factor when treating a heart attack is how quickly treatment begins and not how quickly you can get to the hospital. Survive, don’t drive.