SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It all starts with a call. The call is critical.
"Time is muscle as we say in my field. So, the sooner we can find the blockage and open it we prevent that patient from suffering long-term effects of heart failure, weakening of the heart muscle and in many cases, we actually save lives,” St. Joseph’s/Candler Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Roy Flood said.
Doctors say it's important to act fast which is why they practiced their response to one of the most severe heart attacks on Wednesday.
By calling EMS, they can provide care immediately and you’d rather be safe than sorry.
"It is always better to be safe and call and get more care then you need and not be having a heart attack then to ignore any symptoms,” Bryan County Emergency Services Battalion Chief Vicki Hooks said.
While on your way to the hospital, crews are sending information to doctors. Doctors, meanwhile, are already looking at your treatment options.
"Basically, expedite the care as soon as possible so as soon as the crew picks up the EKG and we have that discussion we call our Cath team and get the cardiologist involved so everybody is waiting for the patient.”
Once they get to the hospital, they are quickly checked in and taken immediately to the Cath lab. There, they make sure the patient’s heart is stable, take images to find the hearts blockage and work to address it.
"In ideal circumstances you get in here and we're done in 20 minutes."
Doctors say they have the best outcomes when they are able to respond within an hour of symptoms which is why making the call for help is crucial. Wednesday’s drill demonstrates how closely they must work together for the best possible result.