If you or a loved one are experiencing severe chest pain, shortness of breath, or nausea, call 911 immediately.

When it comes to your heart health, count on the award-winning experts at Essentia. Our knowledgeable and experienced care teams will partner with you on prevention and early detection as well as diagnosis and treatment. We offer patients the latest treatments, technology, and access to clinical trials.

For your convenience, many of our cardiologists travel to rural clinics to see patients or provide appointments via TeleVideo Exams. More Information

What's a Cardiologist?

A cardiologist is a doctor with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart including congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and electrical activity of the heart.

When to See a Cardiologist

You should see your primary care physician if you have a family history of heart disease or if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Dizzy spells
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Your doctor may refer you to a heart specialist for further testing and treatment. If you experience frequent or severe chest pain, shortness of breath, or nausea, get medical attention immediately.

Early Heart Attack Care

What is Early Heart Attack Care?

Heart attacks have beginnings called Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC). EHAC education teaches you to recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack. We want you to be educated so you can save a life – even if it’s yours.

Like other diseases, heart attacks have early signs and symptoms which may occur in 50% of patients. Luckily, if recognized, you can be treated before heart damage occurs. Stay alert, and always stay aware of chest pressure.

General Risk Factors

Become more aware of the general risk factors that you can discuss with your health care provider:

  • 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
  • Taking certain birth control pills, a history of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or having a low-birth-weight baby


Some heart attack symptoms can be different between men and women. Why does it matter? Women may be less likely to seek immediate medical care which can cause more damage to the heart.

  • Men 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.
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Pain that travels down one or both arms
  • Excessive fatigue or weakness
  • Anxiety

In some instances, the signs and symptoms are different. 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.

If you miss the early signs and someone collapses, call 9-1-1 and begin Hands-Only CPR. If an AED is available, deploy it as soon as possible. AEDs provide easy to follow verbal instructions.

Hands-Only CPR

It important we learn about Hands-Only CPR. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about 90% who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests pass away.

If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency:

  1. Call 9-1-1
  2. Push HARD and FAST in the center of the chest to the beat of song “Stayin’ Alive.” Or at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minutes.

The AHA recommends using CPR with compressions and breaths for infants, children, and victims of drowning, drug overdose, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


Team-Based Care

Count on a team of professionals with decades of experience to work together and deliver the best possible care. Depending on your condition, your health care team may include:

  • Cardiologists
  • Surgeons
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Advanced practitioners
  • Cardiac dieticians
  • Cardiac rehabilitation therapists

Heart & Vascular Centers

Learn more about Essentia’s comprehensive heart and vascular centers.

Cardiac ICU

You or a loved one may need advanced heart care after a heart attack, surgery, severe chest pain, or other event. Receive expert care in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota, which includes:

  • 24/7 monitoring, including constant cardiac telemetry
  • Cardioversion or defibrillation
  • Breathing support
  • Medication management, including pain management
  • Support and resources for you and your family

Make an Appointment

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