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The Heart Center

It takes a team of experienced professionals to deliver superior heart care. The Heart Center at UF Health The Villages® Hospital remains at the forefront of cardiac innovation and technology through the caring hands of our cardiologists and cardiac care professionals. With more than 5,000 hearts saved each year, no other heart program in our area has more experience in cardiac care.

Our hospital offers non-invasive and interventional techniques to perform life-saving cardiac procedures. The facility offers two Philips Ambient Experience catheterization laboratories which integrate architecture, design, and dynamic lighting and sound to enable patients to personalize their environment for a more relaxing experience.

A complete range of cardiac-diagnostic services and tests are offered here, including electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, transthoracic echocardiogram, cardioversion, cardiac stress tests, cardiac monitoring and more.

STEMI Care

During a heart attack, every minute counts. UF Health The Villages® Hospital offers 24-hour interventional cardiology coverage and is designated for EMS transport of patients with a type of suspected heart attack known as a STEMI (ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction). The Hospital's catheterization door-to-open-vessel times (the time it takes for a cardiac patient to proceed from hospital entrance to catheterization procedure) averages 60 minutes, better than the American College of Cardiology benchmark and national average of 90 minutes or less.

Chest Pain Accreditation logo Learn more about our Chest Pain Center Accreditation.

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC)*

Remember: When in doubt, call 9-1-1! In this time of COVID-19, many hospitals are experiencing a decrease in the number of patients with symptoms of heart attack or stroke in emergency departments. Experts worry that patients who need critical care are delaying their treatment because of concerns about the pandemic. We encourage patients in our community to pay close attention to heart attack or stroke symptoms, particularly if they have a pre-existing heart condition, and call 911 immediately if they believe they're having a heart attack or stroke.

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DID YOU KNOW HEART ATTACKS HAVE BEGINNINGS™?

Like other diseases, heart attacks have early sign and symptoms. These “beginnings” occur in over 50 percent of patients. However, if recognized in time, these “beginnings” can be treated before the heart is damaged. 85 percent of heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. EHAC is knowing the subtle danger signs of a heart attack and acting upon them immediately—BEFORE HEART DAMAGE OCCURS.

LEARN THE EARLY SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Chest pressure, squeezing, aching or burning
  • Shortness of breath
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Jaw pain
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Feeling of fullness

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE (MEN versus WOMEN)?

  • Heart attack symptoms can be different between men and women. Why does it matter? Women are less likely to seek immediate medical care and are more likely to die.
  • Men normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of chest, but in women, these symptoms may appear on the right side
  • Women may feel completely exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous
  • Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into their jaw
  • Women may think their stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or an ulcer

WHAT ARE ATYPICAL PRESENTATIONS?

In an atypical presentation, the signs and symptoms are different. How? The patient may not complain about pain or pressure in the chest.

Be alert for the following:

  • A sharp or “knife-like” pain that occurs with coughing or breathing
  • Pain that spreads above the jawbone or into the lower body
  • Difficult or labored breathing

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?

  • These are the general risk factors. Discuss your risk for a heart attack with your doctor.
  • Chest pain, pressure, burning, aching or tightness - it may come and go
  • A family history of cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight or obese
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Using tobacco products
  • Metabolic disease, diabetes or other illnesses
  • For women it can also include birth control pills, a history of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or having a low birth weight baby

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT A HEART ATTACK?

  • Understand the risk factors and see a doctor for early diagnosis.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms. There is a difference in the way heart attacks occur in men and women.
  • Be alert for a heart attack in yourself or someone in your vicinity. Becoming an active bystander could save a life!
  • When in doubt, call 9-1-1. First responders have the medical technology to quickly save a life.

* Information provided by the American College of Cardiology (ACC). Early Heart Attack Care™, and EHAC® are trademarks of the ACC.

Coronary intervention program

Our interventional cardiologists are specialists who lend their experience and many years of technical expertise to your care. Our combination of patient-centered care and advanced treatment methods leads to a safe and comfortable experience.

UF Health The Villages® Hospital offers a full range of cardiac catheterization and interventional procedures, such as angioplasties, percutaneous coronary intervention and stents (including drug-eluting stents). Our team also implants devices and performs peripheral interventions.

 

Cardiac-diagnostic services

A complete range of cardiac-diagnostic services and tests are offered here, including:

  • Electrocardiogram.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram.
  • Cardioversion.
  • Cardiac stress tests.
  • Cardiac monitoring.

Cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation completes the continuum of heart care at UF Health The Villages® Hospital, offering outpatient monitored exercise and educational programs designed to reduce risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Our program is tailored to the personal interests, needs and abilities of each patient. Cardiac rehabilitation offers a safe and enjoyable way for people with heart disease or those who have had cardiac surgery to improve their cardiovascular fitness, function and knowledge.

To learn more about cardiac rehabilitation at The Villages® Regional Hospital, call 352.751.8556.

Support groups

WomanHeart, the national coalition for women with heart disease holds a monthly support group meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. in the Sharon L. Morse Medical Building, Room 520. The group focuses on educating women with heart disease and providing a network of support and community resources. To learn more, call Sue Prince at 240.271.9292 or view the calendar of events.