Glendale Adventist Medical Center - Adventist Health
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FAQ: Cardiac Services

Frequently Asked Questions About Heart and Vascular Services

Q. What should I do if I think I'm having a heart attack?
A. If you have never experienced this type of pain or discomfort before, take one aspirin and call 9-1-1.

IMPORTANT: Do not drive yourself to the hospital or have a relative bring you. This can use up valuable time in which your condition could worsen. Call 9-1-1.

Q. How long can I expect to wait before being treated for pain in the Emergency Department?
A. Chest pain patients are given high priority service in the Emergency Department at Glendale Adventist.

Q.If my doctor is not on staff at Glendale Adventist and I am admitted through the Emergency Department, will he or she be contacted?
A. Yes, at your request. You will be asked to sign a Release of Medical Records, and a hospital staff member will fax this permission to your physician or your previous hospital to get your records.

Q. How long will I have to stay in the hospital after a heart attack?
A. Some people go home the same day they have an angiogram, depending on the results of the test. Others may stay overnight for closer observation. Still others will remain in the hospital for further intervention if the cardiac status worsens. These interventions might include angioplasty, the implantation of a stent (a wire mesh that holds the artery open after angioplasty) or open heart surgery.

Q. If I have to undergo open heart surgery, how long will I be in the hospital?
A. The average length of stay after open heart surgery is five days. If your surgery is planned and scheduled, you will first have a series of tests and preparations on an outpatient basis. Then, you will enter the hospital the evening before surgery. Before you fall asleep that night, you will receive last-minute preparations and instructions.

After your surgery, you will spend one day in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) under close observation by our highly trained team of physician and nurse specialists. Following that day, you will be transferred to the Cardiac Step Down Unit, where you will remain until you are discharged to your home.

The nursing staff at Glendale Adventist are committed to your health and well-being and are skilled in their profession. They will teach you and help you to recover from your operation so that you can resume living an enjoyable, productive life.   

Q.Does my insurance cover all the costs this type of illness will incur?
A. Insurance coverage varies widely, even among customers of the same company. Much depends on your specific policy and what types and levels of coverage you have selected. If you have questions about coverage that you cannot understand after reading your insurance manual, contact your company's benefits specialist (usually in the human resources department) or your insurance company.