New test quickly determines if someone is having a heart attack

Written by on January 13, 2022

New test quickly determines if someone is having a heart attack

By Brittany Sweeney
January 13, 2022

There are now two ways to determine if a person is having a heart attack. (Photo | Brittany Sweeney / WLVR

When it comes to heart attacks, doctors say the faster the treatment, the better.  Lehigh Valley Health Network is using a new test that works quickly to determine whether or not someone is suffering from one. 

Dr. Richard MacKenzie, LVHN’s senior vice chair of  Emergency and Hospital Medicine, said there are two ways to identify a heart attack: the classic EKG and now this new test that is highly sensitive to a certain type of protein in the body called troponin

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“It just gives us an earlier view,” MacKenzie said, “So we can actually detect that heart attack sooner in a patient’s course. So I know there’s a certain population that I know if this test is ultra low, that I know you do not have any heart injury.”

The test can determine whether a patient had a heart attack very quickly, MacKenzie said, where, in the past, a diagnosis may have taken hours.  

If someone believes they are having a heart attack they should seek medical treatment right away, he said, a tell-tale sign is tightness or pain in the chest.

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