Seek Care if You Suspect a Serious Health Issue, Urges Medical Director

March 16, 2021

emergency careLaura Benesch is the director of the Palmdale Regional ER and she urges patients to feel comfortable seeking emergency medical care, even during a pandemic. In particular, it is important to call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room when you or a loved one experience signs of possible heart attack or stroke.

Heart Attack Awareness: What You May Not Know

It’s crucial to understand that men and women may experience different symptoms. Men often (but not always) experience what are known as “classic” signs of a heart attack:

  • Discomfort in the center of the chest that feels like pressure, squeezing or fullness that goes away, yet returns
  • Chest discomfort along with fainting, lightheadedness, shortness of breath or nausea
  • Pain that spreads to the neck, shoulders or arms

In addition to a milder form of the "classic" symptoms, women may also experience:

  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Back or jaw pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or dizziness
  • Palpitations, paleness or cold sweats
  • Mild, flu-like symptoms
  • Unexplained anxiety, fatigue or weakness

Palmdale Regional is certified by Los Angeles County as a Regional Heart Attack Treatment Center for quality stroke and heart attack care. The hospital is also one of just 33 certified ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) Receiving Centers in Los Angeles County. The hospital was also recognized as a Best Hospital for 2020-21 by U.S. News & World Report for Heart Failure Care.

Stroke? Time Lost Is Brain Lost

When a stroke strikes, every second matters. As time elapses, damage to the brain can be more severe. Learn to BE FAST if you think you or a loved one is having a stroke:

B - BALANCE – Does the person have a sudden loss of balance or coordination?

E - EYES – Has the person lost vision in one or both eyes or have they had sudden double vision?

F - FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A - ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S - SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is it slurred or strange?

T - TIME – Time is critical! If you see any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

The hospital holds The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association®/American Stroke Association’s® Heart-Check Mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers.

In addition, Palmdale Regional received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus® Quality Achievement Award for 2020.

Your Safety at Palmdale Regional

We’ve implemented new safety measures in our emergency department. For example, we have a process in place to quickly identify, properly place and treat patients who have COVID-19 symptoms. Every patient entering the hospital through the Emergency Department is screened for COVID-19 right away.

Palmdale Regional has a dedicated unit for those patients requiring admission who test positive for COVID-19. With these added safety measures in place, our hospital is returning to normal operations.

Don’t put your health on hold in an emergency.

SOURCES: American Heart Association®, American Stroke Association®