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Emergency Angioplasty
Also called Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or PCI

"Our goal is to restore blood flow within 90 minutes of a patient's arrival." 
    - David Zimrin, M.D., Medical Director, Interventional Cardiology

If you think you may be suffering a heart attack, you should seek immediate treatment at the closest emergency department by calling 9-1-1. The longer you wait to seek help, the greater your risk of serious heart damage and even death. Learn the signs of a Heart Attack

Carroll Hospital Center offers life-saving treatment to patients with a serious type of heart attack called a STEMI (short for ST Segment Myocardial Infarction). In this type of heart attack, the blood flow in a coronary artery is completely blocked and requires immediate treatment to open up the vessel and restore blood flow. By partnering with the University of Maryland Medical Center, we can provide you with immediate care for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also know as emergency angioplasty. When minutes count, you can count on Carroll Hospital Center to be there for you.

Interventional cardiologists perform emergency angioplasty by threading a small tube with a tiny balloon at the end through a large blood vessel in the groin. Once the tube reaches the blocked area in the heart, the balloon is inflated, pushing the artery open and restoring blood flow.

A small, expandable mesh tube called a stent is often placed in the newly widened artery to hold the vessel open. To be effective, the procedure must be performed soon after heart attack symptoms appear. 

Carroll Hospital Center has been designated as a Cardiac Inter­ventional Center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). This designation recognizes the hospital for meeting the highest standards of quality care for pa­tients, and is required for any Maryland hospital that accepts emergency angioplasty patients by ambulance.

We have close relationships with major heart hospitals to refer you to one of these centers if you need open heart surgery or non-emergency angioplasty. You can return to Carroll Hospital Center for cardiac rehabilitation or ongoing heart care from one of our excellent cardiologists after your procedure.


Do you know the signs of a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when one of the major arteries supplying blood to the heart becomes blocked, usually due to a buildup of plaque. While symptoms vary from person to person, common warning signs include:
  • Chest pain that lasts several minutes or goes away and comes back. You may feel fullness or a squeezing sensation in the center of your chest.
  • Pain and discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, anxiety, indigestion and unexplained fatigue.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away, even if your symptoms seem mild.