Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital is a fully accredited Chest Pain Center through the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) Sentara Virginia Beach General was the first Sentara hospital to receive this accreditation and the second hospital in the Region.
Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. They emphasize the importance of standardized diagnostic and treatment programs that provide more efficient and effective evaluation as well as more appropriate and rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms.
They also serve as a point of entry into the healthcare system to evaluate and treat other medical problems, and they help to promote a healthier lifestyle in an attempt to reduce the risk factors for heart attack.
The Accredited Chest Pain Center at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria.
To become an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital engaged in rigorous evaluation by SCPC for its ability to assess, diagnose, and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. To the community served by Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at:
Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment
Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved
Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital
Anyone with heart attack warning signs needs to get medical treatment right away. Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives. Don't wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 and avoid driving to the emergency room.
By calling 9-1-1 and taking an ambulance you will get to the hospital and treated in the fastest way possible. There also are other benefits to calling 9-1-1:
Emergency personnel can begin treatment immediately— even before you arrive at the hospital.
Your heart may stop beating during a heart attack. Emergency personnel have the equipment and training needed to start it beating again.
Heart attack patients who arrive by ambulance tend to receive faster treatment on their arrival at the hospital.
If you are having heart attack symptoms and for some reason cannot call 9-1-1, have someone else drive you at once to the hospital. Never drive yourself, unless there is absolutely no other choice.
Warning signs of heart attack in men:
chest discomfort or chest pain
a squeezing or crushing feeling on the chest
pain of the jaw, toothache, headaches
nausea, vomiting, cold sweats and indigestion
arm pain on the left side or left shoulder pain may be felt radiating all the way from the chest and jaw
Warning signs of a heart attack in women:
pressure, squeezing pain in chest, neck, shoulder or jaw
nausea, dizziness, back pain
unusual fatigue, unusual shortness of breath
lower chest discomfort, or chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath
upper abdominal pain or pressure
While symptoms for both men and women can be similar, women can sometimes feel symptoms for weeks or even a month in advance of a heart attack. The best course of action is to listen to the body and make sure that any changes in health are discussed with a doctor.