We are committed to helping you recognize your risk for developing a disease of the heart and blood vessels, and want to join you in your fight to stop these silent killers in their tracks…starting today.
Frequently asked questions
Risk factors for heart disease and stroke include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, excess weight and obesity, diabetes, increasing age, heredity and race, gender and prior heart attack or stroke. If you have any of these risk factors you need to:
- Stop smoking — your risk drops dramatically when you kick the habit.
- Have LDL cholesterol levels checked often. You can reduce your risk of high cholesterol by eating less saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods.
- Get up and move. Exercise, even moderate exercise, decreases risk greatly.
- High blood pressure has no warning signs. Get regular blood pressure tests, especially if your family history shows you could be genetically at-risk. Eat less salt and sodium. Read food labels.
- Do not carry extra weight. People 20 or more pounds overweight are at higher risk.
- Control your diabetes if you have it.
- Know that oral contraceptives become a higher risk when coupled with smoking or high blood pressure.
- Take medicine if your doctor prescribes it and ask about aspirin therapy.
Warning signs of heart attack
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Unusual pain in the shoulders, neck or arms.
- Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
- Atypical chest, stomach or abdominal pain.
- Nausea and/or dizziness (without chest pain).
- Unexplained anxiety, weakness, or fatigue. Palpitations, cold sweats or paleness.
Warning signs of stroke
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
If you check two or more of the items below, talk to your healthcare provider.
- You are over 55.
- Your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, or your mother or sister had one before 65, or your mother, father, sibling or grandparent had a stroke at any age.
- You smoke, or live or work with people who smoke regularly.
- Your total cholesterol is 220 mg/dL, or you don't know your HDL cholesterol level.
- Your blood pressure is 140/90 mm HG or higher, or a health professional has said your blood pressure is too high, or you don't know your blood pressure.
- Your level of physical activity is less than 30 minutes on most days.
- You have a high BMI or are overweight by 20 pounds or more.
- You have diabetes, a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or greater, or you need medicine to control blood sugar.
- You have a medical history of coronary heart disease or atrial fibrillation (AFib), or have had a heart attack.
- You've had a stroke or have carotid artery disease, have had a mini-stroke, or have a disease of the leg arteries, a high red blood cell count or sickle-cell anemia.
More information on heart disease or stroke
Not all symptoms will occur in every heart attack or stroke. If you notice any of these signs, call 911 immediately. Every second counts!
All Lincoln Hospital and Clinics locations are equipped with automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) for emergency use.
Level One Cardiac Care and partnership
In a cardiac emergency, time is an unforgiving foe. Because we live in a rural area, we're already racing the clock.
With our Level One Cardiac Care protocol, Lincoln Hospital is prepared to quickly asses the needs, deliver the appropriate medications and transport heart attack patients to Sacred Heart Medical Center. One call activates the sequence.
- Rapid diagnosis, intervention and stabilization at Lincoln Hospital.
- Fast helicopter transport by Life Flight Critical Care Transport.
- No-wait treatment at Sacred Heart's Cardiac Catheter Lab Team.
First stop: Lincoln Hospital
Fast diagnosis and stabilization are key to surviving a cardiac emergency. To meet this goal, Lincoln Hospital will provide the following:
- Board-certified physicians and midlevel providers.
- State of the art biphasic cardiac defibrillator standing by.
- Cutting-edge cardiac chest pump standing by.
- Aspirin therapy within 10 minutes of arrival.
- Diagnostic EKG within 10 minutes of arrival.
If diagnostics show an impending heart attack, our physician makes the Level One call to our partners at MedStar and Sacred Heart's Cardiac Cath Lab.
Top flight transportation
As soon as your EKG is diagnosed, Life Flight crews are called into action. Through our cutting-edge Tele-ER system, the medical teams at Life Flight and Sacred Heart can be in video and voice contact with our ER physicians, and you, to communicate any special needs for your transport and treatment.
As you are being transported, physicians and nurses in the Sacred Heart Cardiac Catheter Lab are converging to consult with doctors at Lincoln Hospital on your condition and examine your EKG. The goal is for their team and equipment to be in place for immediate treatment when you arrive—no waiting!
Cardiac specialist available locally
Cardiologist Stephen Thew, MD, of Heart Clinics Northwest sees patients monthly at the Davenport Clinic. To schedule a visit, please call 509.838.7711 and ask for an appointment in Davenport.
"Level One is working. It's saving lives and giving rural people improved outcomes and quality of life. I just wish we'd though of it sooner!"
–Stephen Thew, MD
Heart Clinics Northwest and Sacred Heart, visiting cardiologist to Davenport Clinic