Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease.
It is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women.
CAD happens when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to
heart muscle. When these arteries become hardened and narrowed and blood
flow to the heart decreases, ischemia or lack of oxygen results.
Patients can experience chest pain or symptoms of angina. If the blood
flow to the heart is completely blocked, a heart attack occurs.
Lack of blood flow in the arteries is a life-threatening event with symptoms
that can include:
- Cold or clammy skin (diaphoresis)
- Low blood pressure
- Dangerous arrhythmias
- Severe chest pain
Anyone experiencing these symptoms or who believes they may be having a
heart attack should call 911.
Time is Critical
As a designated cardiac receiving center for Alameda County, Washington
Hospital is committed to restoring blood flow to the heart as quickly
as possible. First, working with paramedics in the field helps the Emergency
Department staff be fully prepared to receive a patient who may be having
a heart attack. The paramedics can transmit EKG results to the Hospital
and on-call cardiologist. The goal is to enable the physician to make
a diagnosis and have the cath lab team and room ready, even before the
patient arrives at the Hospital. Washington Hospital is the only hospital
in the area to have three cath lab rooms—reducing any concern that
one may be unavailable for immediate procedures.