1. Every minute counts!

Acute myocardial infarction frequently manifests with acute chest pain. It is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical care. This is a race against the clock where every minute counts. Early intervention makes it possible to prevent complications and limit the damage caused by the infarct.
When you call 144 (the Geneva equivalent to the American 911), state immediately that it is a cardiac emergency so that an ambulance and doctor can be dispatched to you without delay.

Appropriate medication will be administered and, if necessary, a defibrillator will be used to treat cardiac arrhythmias. Once the patient is under medical care, he will quickly be brought either to the Hôpital Universitaire de Genève - HUG (left bank) or to the Hôpital de La Tour (right bank) depending on the geographic location and preference of the patient. It is imperative however that transportation time be as short as possible.
Both Geneva institutions are similarly equipped to deal with cardiac emergencies (emergency centre, intensive care, a catheterization room (available 24/7) and cardiovascular surgeons on call).

2. Keep Calm           

When you call 144, do not forget to mention your name, address and a telephone number where you can be reached.
Include any other useful information for the ambulance team such as your floor, the door number into the building, etc.
Do not hang up too quickly and be ready to provide any additional necessary details.

3. The risk of a false alarm

No one likes having to call the emergency services, however, if you suspect a serious cardiac emergency, it is best to make the call. The 144 operator is trained to ask the initial diagnostic triage questions. If it is a false alarm, no one will blame you for having activated the alarm!

4. Emergency Room care at the Hôpital de La Tour

Patients with acute cardiac symptoms are taken care of by our specialist team, the "Chest Pain Centre of the Hôpital de la Tour". Immediate clear-cut emergencies such as a heart attack, are treated within the hour, following admission by coronary angiography and, if necessary, coronary dilatation. In cases where the diagnosis is less clear, various tests and procedures to clarify the situation are available to the cardiologists, emergency doctors, radiologists and
intensive care specialists. A new generation scanner (256 barrettes) that provides rapid, refined diagnostic help is also available, as necessary, at the Hôpital de la Tour.
The Chest Pain Centre is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Its services are available to all, regardless of the type of insurance (basic and/or private) and are reimbursed by basic insurance (LAMal).

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Last modified on December 17th, 2015.

Unless specified otherwise, this text has been written by the editorial team.

Our specialists

Hôpital de La Tour

Dr med. Amir Fassa +41 22 719 61 26